- Department of Public Health
Media Contact for Statement from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on patient testing for COVID-19
Ann Scales, Director of Media Relations
BOSTON — As of 10:45 a.m. Sunday, March 15th, 799 patients had been tested by the Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory, up from the 475 people tested that Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders shared at the March 14th press conference.
The Department of Public Health has implemented the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated guidance on clinical testing protocols, which means clinicians are required to only submit one nasal swab, rather than the previous requirement to submit both nasal and throat swabs. With this change in clinical testing protocols, the State Lab’s testing capacity will increase to approximately 400 patients a day, up from 200 patients a day.
In addition, in Massachusetts, clinicians now have more flexibility to determine which patients should be tested without having to call DPH’s Epi Line.
With national labs now being approved by the FDA to conduct testing, clinicians can submit specimens for testing directly to these labs. This change will enable more people to be tested and for more tests to be conducted. With more clinical labs in Massachusetts working to get FDA approval, even more testing capacity will be coming online soon.