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Coronavirus Rapid Testing Site Opens In Lowell

LOWELL (CBS) – A new coronavirus testing facility opened in Lowell on Tuesday. The rapid testing site, built by CVS, will allow testing for up to 1,000 people per day.

The site is run by MinuteClinic. Tests will be performed in the parking lot of Showcase Cinemas on Reiss Ave.

People will receive results in minutes before leaving the parking lot. There is no cost for testing, which is done by appointment only.

Because CVS Health is transitioning to run the Lowell testing site, it will be stopping its coronavirus testing in Shrewsbury. That facility had been set up as a pilot program for first responders.

"By working with a wide range of partners, we have dramatically increased Massachusetts' COVID-19 testing capacity, and we are grateful to CVS for their partnership in launching this new rapid testing site," said Gov. Charlie Baker. "The continued expansion of testing, along with our new efforts around community tracing, will enable the Commonwealth to better track and slow the spread of this virus."

Emmanuel Kolady, senior vice president of CVS Health, said there was immediate interest from people looking to be tested.

"The Massachusetts site went live at 12:01 a.m. and as of 6 a.m. we had over 300 people register and set appointments," said Kolady.

Equipment targets a gene specific to coronavirus using a nasal or throat swab.

"This instrument really fills a gap where a need has existed since this pandemic started," Newton-Wellesley Hospital Dr. Michael Misialek said.

To qualify for the Lowell testing site, patients must pre-register on the CVS Health website, be at least 18 years old, and be asymptomatic or part of a vulnerable population.

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