By Beth Germano

BRIDGEWATER (CBS) — The testing program at CVS in Bridgewater was busy during its first day open Friday. CVS is now offering drive-thru testing for COVID-19 at nine locations across the state as long as customers have an appointment.

“I signed up for an appointment at 4:00 this morning and there are no more available today, ” said one customer who did not want to be identified. She’s concerned about lingering symptoms from a pneumonia diagnosis.

“I couldn’t breathe and I had all the symptoms. But that was January 7th and no one knew what it was,” said Dave, who believes he already had the virus.

The drive-thru testing is part of Governor Baker’s plan to ramp up testing as part of the state’s re-opening strategy.

Customers have to stay in their vehicles, administer their own nasal swab under the direction of the pharmacist, secure the test in a bag, and return it through a drawer.

Tufts Medical Center epidemiologist Dr. Shira Doron said the CVS sites are getting needed tests to people and the drive-through nature shouldn’t mean it’s any less accurate. “There are so many points at which the test could fail to be as sensitive as we want it to be, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep doing the test,” she said.

There are also benefits to the setup. “Not having the doctor, nurse or tech have to lean into the face of the person who might have COVID-19 is certainly safer than the alternative,” said Doron.

Governor Baker wants 75,000 tests per day administered in the state by the end of the year.

Beth Germano