By Juli McDonald

RANDOLPH (CBS) – What a difference a day makes. Lines were hours long and patience was thin at the COVID-19 testing site in Randolph Monday night. Agencies worked together to come up with some solutions – keeping people safer and make the process go smoother.

“Last night when we were at 1000 (tests) we were about a mile and a half down the road. As you can see (the line is) in the parking lot tonight. That’s fantastic, it’s definitely helping,” said programs coordinator Elizabeth Larosee Tuesday.

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Signs of progress at Randolph’s COVID-19 testing site… after it, like every test location, has experienced enormous sudden demand.

“We were doing about 200-300 a day until about a week and a half ago or two weeks ago. Then we went up to, our biggest number was last night 1450 tests. We were here until about 9 o’clock at night,” Larosee explained.

So, community leaders brought in more health care professionals, Randolph firefighters to also perform tests, and even Randolph police to implement a better check in system.

“Cataldo ambulance, they’re great. They came up with this new system. We are having people in line scan a QR code and put their own information in. That saves us about two minutes of typing time on the back end. It also makes sure peoples’ information gets in correctly and we don’t miss a keystroke,” she added.

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Drivers saw a difference.

“Oh my God they’re doing such an awesome job it’s unbelievable. They’re doing an amazing job,” one woman with her daughters said. They were tested in about an hour.

In Boston, health leaders are also looking for solutions, considering higher-capacity testing sites like the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury. There’s urgency to manage standing lines more effectively, especially in the cold.

“We are working maybe 18-20 hour days some of these people. It is very cold out,” Larosee said. “In between each car the testers have to switch gloves. It’s not like they can wear mittens and do it. They need to be wearing medical gloves. It’s cold and everyone is tired but everyone is doing their best.”

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Randolph, unlike some sites, doesn’t close the gate when they reach a certain capacity. Anyone who arrives before 7 o’clock will be tested. Preregistering on the town’s website is recommended.

Juli McDonald