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Massachusetts Struggles To Meet Coronavirus Testing Needs, Results Taking Up To A Week

BOSTON (CBS) - Coronavirus testing continues to be a problem in Massachusetts, even as new swabbing locations are popping up around the state.

"I think it's critical that the Feds move a lot faster on this stuff," said Governor Charlie Baker on Wednesday, repeating his plea for more supplies. "That's an issue here. It's an issue everywhere, and believe me, on every call with the Feds, and every call with the governors, this is what we talk about."

Quarantined Boston University student John Mikulskis got a test at Carney Hospital's new Coronavirus Care Center in Dorchester. "They took this kind of long Q-tip swab thing, and they put it all the way up your nose to your throat."

He came home from his semester abroad in Spain last Thursday. The symptoms started Saturday. "Fever, cough, sore throat," he said. After it took three days to find a testing site, he now has to wait a whole week for results. "They said they don't know what they're going to do if it's a negative result. They said they might contact me, or they said they just might not contact me altogether."

MA Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders said the waiting period for private companies is longer. "Our state lab turns the test around between 24 and 48 hours," she said. "Some of the commercial labs are three to seven days."

At Boston Medical Center, where there's also a tent to keep coronavirus patients isolated. That's where ER Dr. Jon Santiago is on the front lines. He's also a state representative. "We've scaled up testing significantly," he said. "But make no mistake; there's a lot more we have to do. I mean the experts say we have to get it to about a thousand a day in terms of capacity."

Massachusetts currently has the capacity conduct 400 coronavirus tests per day.

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