Building on Massachusetts’ nation-leading COVID-19 testing program, the Baker-Polito Administration today announced the Commonwealth will increase testing capacity and locations to provide more access for residents in every county.

According to State House News, Gov. Charlie Baker announced an expansion of free testing yesterday, including at three sites in the Berkshires. He also said that beginning Friday, hospitals would “curtail” inpatient elective procedures that safely can be postponed, in order to free up bed space and staff.

The Baker Administration also announced expanded testing in Hampshire, Franklin, as well as  Berkshire County. This includes a partnership with UMass Amherst for free testing in Hampshire County at Amherst, a partnership with Berkshire Health Systems to expand free testing across multiple sites in Berkshire County, and an intent to expand free testing with a mobile provider in Franklin County. These sites are coming online during the coming weeks.

Testing locations in Great Barrington, Pittsfield, and North Adams now have been designated “Stop the Spread” centers, which will allow residents to get tested for any reason, and the state will cover the cost.

Senator Adam Hinds said via a Facebook post:

“Stop the Spread” test sites are now being added in North Adams, Pittsfield, Great Barrington, Greenfield and Amherst. Testing site will be operational by the end of the month. More information to follow. I should add that the western Mass legislative delegation has been advocating for this since the summer, I am glad has finally come through.
Baker says he planned to address the media five times this week, including tomorrow (Wednesday) about vaccine distribution and he expressed frustration that the warnings from public health officials over the dangers of gathering for Thanksgiving were not heeded. Thanksgiving celebrations are being blamed for the “rapid increase” in COVID-19 infections over the past week
As of Monday, 1,516 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, including 302 in intensive care units, according to the state Department of Public Health.
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