By Louisa Moller

MARLBORO (CBS) – Marlboro Hospital has increased its free, drive-thru COVID-19 testing from three days to five days a week from 8am to 12pm to meet a growing demand.

Hospital COO and Chief Nursing Officer, John Kelly, says the hospital administered roughly 1200 tests last week, about 2-300 per day, through the state’s Stop the Spread program.

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“What they’re saying is they can’t get a test at their local CVS and they need one to go back to school but those appointments just aren’t available for several days so they’re looking around and they’re finding they have to drive here from Boston or Arlington or other places that are fairly far away to come get their COVID test,” Kelly said.

Kelly said they are also testing a significant number of children.

“We are also seeing a lot of kids from school. Kids are getting tested in the pod testing or group testing from school and they’re having to come get another test,” he said.

The testing increase appears to be happening across the state.

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According to data on the state’s COVID-19 dashboard, the number of PCR tests administered this September is not far behind the number from last year’s winter surge. The demand for rapid antigen tests has also been consistently higher than it was last winter.

The state continues its Stop the Spread campaign, with free drive-thru testing offered in 29 communities until December 31.

Massachusetts adults who have COVID symptoms or who come into contact with a COVID infected person can also request a free at home test kit through Pixel by LabCorp.

Kelly says his staff is prepared to meet the need, but he hopes it will not grow much more.

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“Historically, we were back at New England Sports center when we were testing 1,000 plus patients a day and they’ve given us permission to use their lot again. Just fingers crossed that we won’t get to that level,” he said.

Louisa Moller