Governor Baker says staffing is the biggest obstacle to further growth in COVID-19 tests



I mean, first of all, uh, Massachusetts is number two in the country and has been either number one or number two in the country for per capita testing. Pretty much since the start of this year and we have over 100 sites that people can go to, uh, testing and uh, and we’ve never removed any of our stop spread sites, even when the number case has gotten really low and we’ve had people in the media telling us, why are you still running these sites? Spending money that you don’t need to spend? And we said because with Covid, you never know and I’m glad we kept it. Um, we were also successful in bringing in, we’re the only state in the country that I know of that did that, that went straight to the manufacturers and acquired two million tests that we handed out before the holidays. 200 communities, including Somerville, which had significant access issues due to the nature of the communities they serve and represent. And every community in Massachusetts can now purchase rapid tests thanks to the contracts we have negotiated with three different vendors. Do you guys, have you ever walked in? Okay. I mean communities literally start buying tests and millions of tests will become available. People here in Massachusetts because of it. Um, we’re going to continue to do what we can to make our test infrastructure, um, bigger, but we have the same issues with the staff. It’s primarily a personnel issue that almost everyone in today’s economy has, but we know it’s important. We really appreciate that people are taking advantage of these sites and taking advantage of these tests because they are available because in the end one of the best things we can all do to protect ourselves and our coworkers and our neighbors and our friends uh , is to get tested if we are going to go out, especially with people with whom we do not spend a lot of time on a regular basis, which is absolutely the case during the holidays. We have to talk last week when I was asked this question I said there would be a lot of demand for this. We have more capacity per capita than any other state in the country, but people need to understand that. Uh, they’re probably going to have to wait. Um, that’s part of the reason we’ve been around the federal government, which I’ve communicated very aggressively about the importance of having more testing available and more testing infrastructure for a long time. Why we ran around them and went straight to the manufacturers and bought tests and made these two million tests available to towns and villages last week and road contracts that made towns and cities to perform literally millions of tests on their own with their Arpaio and esser funds, which from federal funding sources they have to purchase tests for people in their communities. Um, but I, you know, honestly, at this point my post would still be the same. We have more testing facilities than anyone else, but people are going to have to be patient to attract some fairly open people here. Um, the federal government is struggling to keep a number of commitments it has already made to the states. And I’m very proud of the fact that we have one of the largest testing facilities in the country, yes. Plan. To the right? Yes. Pleasant. Well, 200,000 tests made available to teachers distributed to communities so that they can make these tests available to their teachers. Um, as people come back to school we think it was the right thing to do. And we have spoken to many communities, many superintendents who have told us that they appreciate it and that they are eager to be able to make these tests available to their teachers. Look, I wish I had more, but I’m starting with the proposition that we have more than anyone else in the country. Um, and like I said, we’re the only state that bypassed the federal government directly from manufacturers, bought millions of tests made them available to cities and towns before Christmas and now has a contract in place where i believe virtually every town in town, every educational institution, lots of non-profit organizations are going to be able to buy tests at a very discounted rate directly from these manufacturers and distribute them accordingly here in massachusetts.

Governor Baker says staffing is the biggest obstacle to further growth in COVID-19 tests

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker says he’s proud of the state’s scale of COVID-19 testing infrastructure, but that staffing is the biggest obstacle to future growth. Baker faced several questions about the issue on Thursday, after several days of long queues outside testing clinics statewide. In some cases, people have been turned away when clinics have run out of capacity. “Honestly, at this point my message would still be the same: we have more testing infrastructure than anyone else, but people are going to have to be patient,” the governor said. Coronavirus cases are on the rise in Massachusetts, with the Department of Public Health releasing several record numbers in its afternoon reports and the state recently passed the grim milestone of one million cases since the start of the pandemic. Boston and Salem on Thursday announced plans to create additional testing capacity in those cities in January. The governor said he was passionate about testing, but said large-scale expansion of state capacity was difficult. “We will continue to do what we can to expand our test infrastructure, but we have the same personnel issues. It’s primarily a personnel issue that almost everyone in today’s economy has.” , said Baker. exchange with journalists, the governor has repeatedly underlined the recent work of his administration to acquire rapid tests at home. Massachusetts recently distributed over 2 million rapid tests to some communities, purchased 200,000 more for school staff, and entered into statewide purchasing contracts with three vendors to deliver the tests. Rapids available for purchase by cities and towns with federal stimulus funds. “Look, I wish I had more, but I’m starting with the proposition that we have more than anyone else in the country,” Baker said. “And like I said, we’re the only state that has bypassed the federal government directly from manufacturers, bought millions of tests, made them available to towns and cities before Christmas, and now has a contract in. place where I believe virtually every town and city, every educational institution (and) many non-profit organizations will be able to purchase tests at a greatly discounted rate directly from these manufacturers and distribute them accordingly here in the Massachusetts. ”

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker says he’s proud of the state’s scale of COVID-19 testing infrastructure, but that staffing is the biggest obstacle to future growth.

Baker faced several questions about the issue on Thursday, after several days of long queues outside testing clinics statewide. In some cases, people have been turned away when clinics have run out of capacity.

“Honestly, at this point my message would still be the same: we have more testing infrastructure than anyone else, but people are going to have to be patient,” the governor said.

Coronavirus cases are on the rise in Massachusetts, with the Department of Public Health releasing several record numbers in its afternoon reports and the state recently passed the grim milestone of one million cases since the start of the pandemic.

Boston and Salem on Thursday announced plans to create additional testing capacity in those cities in January. The governor said he was passionate about testing, but said large-scale expansion of state capacity was difficult.

“We will continue to do what we can to expand our test infrastructure, but we have the same personnel issues. It’s primarily a personnel issue that almost everyone in today’s economy has.” , said Baker.

In his exchange with reporters, the governor has repeatedly highlighted the recent work of his administration to acquire rapid home tests. Massachusetts recently distributed over 2 million rapid tests to some communities, purchased 200,000 more for school staff, and entered into statewide purchasing contracts with three vendors to deliver the tests. Rapids available for purchase by cities and towns with federal stimulus funds.

“Look, I wish I had more, but I’m starting with the proposition that we have more than anyone else in the country,” Baker said. “And like I said, we’re the only state that has bypassed the federal government directly from manufacturers, bought millions of tests, made them available to towns and cities before Christmas, and now has a contract in. place where I believe virtually every town and city, every educational institution (and) many non-profit organizations will be able to purchase tests at a greatly discounted rate directly from these manufacturers and distribute them accordingly here in the Massachusetts. ”