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Massachusetts Coronavirus Testing Plan Submitted Over The Weekend

Massachusetts submitted its medium-term and long-term strategy for COVID-19 testing to the federal government on Saturday, the governor said Monday.

The submission, which Gov. Baker has said is necessary to access funds allocated in relief legislation Congress passed in April, calls for stepping up testing capacity to hit 45,000 daily tests by the end of July and 75,000 daily by the end of December, with the goal of bringing the positive rate below 5%.

With $374 million in federal funding, the administration said Massachusetts will ensure on-demand access to testing for all symptomatic individuals and their close contacts, increase access to testing for vulnerable and high-risk populations, build a testing infrastructure to support a potential second surge, and modernize public technology infrastructure to provide real-time data on cases and testing.

The state also announced Monday that the Department of Public Health will install the Roche Diagnostics cobas® 6800 platform in the State Public Health Lab later this month, with an expectation to receive sufficient supplies and reagents to enable 1,300 tests per day. Massachusetts currently has capacity at 45 labs to perform up to 30,000 COVID-19 tests per day but has been averaging roughly 10,000 tests processed per day.

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