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Baker Touts Mass. COVID-19 Testing Rate, But Says State Could Still Do More

If Massachusetts were a country, it would have one of the highest per capita COVID-19 testing rates in the world, but it can still be doing more, Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday.

Baker was Fall River on Wednesday to tour a drive-through testing site at Stanley Street Treatment and Resources, one of the 18 community health centers where the administration is supporting local testing efforts as part of a partnership with Quest Diagnostics.

The state has so far tested more than 401,000 people, and at its peak tested 15,652 people in a single day on May 3.

But Baker said Massachusetts has the lab capacity to test 30,000 a samples a day, highlighting its ability to ramp up even more as testing becomes a vital part of the strategy to begin reopening parts of the economy. While testing is expanding, Massachusetts has about 6.9 million residents, most of whom have been mostly housebound for weeks.

Baker also noted new guidance recommending testing for anyone with symptoms or who has had close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19. The updated guidelines, Baker said, removes what had been an early barrier during the health crisis to understanding the full breadth of the pandemic due to limits on testing access.

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