MARLBORO (CBS) – Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday he expects an “enormous increase” in the amount of coronavirus testing in the Commonwealth in a matter of days.
After touring Quest Diagnostics COVID-19 testing lab in Marlboro, Baker held a news conference with Quest’s CEO and the state’s Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders.
“So we’re hoping by the beginning of the week to have about 3,500, the ability to test 3,500 a day in Massachusetts between the state lab, commercial labs, (the) Broad Institute coming online at the beginning of the week, and others, which would be a good place to build from in our state,” Sudders told reporters.
CEO Steve Rusckowski said by Saturday Quest will be able to conduct 20,000 tests per day in labs nationwide.
Baker said he expects an “enormous increase” in the amount of testing that will take place in Massachusetts.
“It can’t happen fast enough,” the governor said.
Initially, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention was the only organization allowed to test for coronavirus. But states and commercial labs like Quest were eventually given approval to do their own testing.
There are currently 328 coronavirus cases in Massachusetts.“I fully believe that we in Massachusetts are doing the things we need to do to catch up. There’s no question the federal government has a lot of catching up to do as well,” Baker said.
But healthcare workers on the front lines are skeptical. A local nurse who asked to be kept anonymous said she’s been exposed to patients waiting on tests and that she’s kept testing patients even though she hasn’t been tested.
Quest Diagnostics said the current wait time for test results is three to five days, but some patients have told WBZ-TV they are waiting six to eight days.