Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey on Friday took to social media to blast the Baker administration for waiting until next week to post the number of people who have been tested for coronavirus in the state.
“This is not good enough," said Healey, a Democrat, via Twitter. “In a rapidly moving public health crisis, we need more transparency about how many people have been tested and what the results have been. I urge the Governor to move with more urgency.”
During an earlier news conference Friday, Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican, announced that he was banning many public gatherings of over 250 people, and Marylou Sudders, his health and human services secretary, said the state will begin publishing data each Wednesday on the number of tests the state has performed.
She also said at some point next week, the state will be able to double the capacity it has, from performing 200 tests a day to 400. Currently, the state has the ability to process tests for up to 5,000 people.
But both she and Baker repeatedly declined to give a current number of how many tests the state public health lab has actually completed, suggesting it’s a fluid number.
“We are putting that together right now,” Sudders said.
Baker called the slow drag on federal approval of private labs to perform testing “enormously frustrating,” but he said the state shouldn't get ahead of the Food and Drug Administration and expand testing without its OK.
“I don’t think the feds are moving quickly enough. But the idea that I would put our entire testing regime or our health care delivery system at risk by literally violating federal law, I’m not going there,” he said.
Baker added that the two private labs in the state that are now available for testing will make “a big difference” in expediting the process.