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Barrett: FDA Approvals Could Expand Coronavirus Testing In Western Massachusetts

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JD Allen
/
WAMC
1st Berkshire District State Representative John Barrett

A Berkshire County state representative says federal approval to expand COVID-19 testing in Western Massachusetts should come by the end of the week. 

1st Berkshire District State Representative John Barrett says Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield and Baystate Medical Center in Springfield each have a machine that can test for coronavirus.

“However, the FDA has indicated to them that they will not be able to do any laboratory testing until the machine’s certified, which could take up to three weeks – and that’s crazy, and this is a very critical time when we have to get people tested,” said Barrett.

The Democrat says after speaking with staffers in U.S. Senator Ed Markey’s office, he expects those federal approvals to come through as early as the end of the week. He says the machines have a 4-hour turnaround time for testing, and will expand testing beyond the current 300 to 400 daily results statewide.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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