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Baker On Intense Demand For COVID-19 Tests: 'People Are Going To Have To Be Patient'

CAMBRIDGE (CBS) -- Anyone in Massachusetts seeking a COVID-19 test these days is likely to encounter long lines and empty store shelves. Amid the frustration, Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday that people are just going to have to be patient.

"There's going to be a lot of demand for this," Baker said about the rush to get tested after the holidays. "People need to understand that they're probably going to have to wait."

The governor stressed that there are hundreds of testing sites in Massachusetts, which is second in the country in testing per capita.

"We have more testing infrastructure than just about anybody else, but people are going to have to be patient," he said.

Staffing issues are the main obstacle in expanding testing operations, Baker said. He added that he's been "aggressively communicating" with the Biden administration on testing.

"The federal government is struggling to deliver on a number of the commitments they've made to states already," Baker said.

Baker announced on Wednesday that the state has struck deals with test manufacturers that will allow cities and towns to directly purchase rapid tests at discounted rates of $5-$26 using American Rescue Plan Act funds.

"As cities and towns start ordering - we're talking millions and millions of tests that are now available to cites and towns - as those tests start to land, they should take some of the pressure of those testing sites," Baker said.



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