PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Medical Center is slowly rolling out its drive-thru testing services to the public.
Anyone wishing to be tested must obtain a doctor's order and must schedule the test ahead of time, according to Michael Leary, media relations director for Berkshire Health Systems.
Hospital leaders are directing residents to their hotline, available seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 855-262-5465.
Berkshire County has at least 18 cases of the virus, according to numbers released Thursday by the state's Department of Public Health.
Eight of those people are receiving treatment currently at BHS facilities, Leary said. Four more admitted for inpatient treatment await test results.
The drive-thru testing operation expanded to two lanes Thursday to meet increasing demand. Some 53 medical professionals and first responders got tested Wednesday, Leary said. On Thursday, BHS expanded hours at the tent set up behind Berkshire Medical Center, collecting specimens from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The goal is to ramp up testing to about 90 people a day, he said.
"Anyone who is approved for drive-thru testing needs a physician order and must be pre-scheduled and MUST be symptomatic," Leary wrote in an email to The Eagle.
The hotline received 231 calls yesterday, which was down slightly from the day before, Leary said, "but calls were also longer."
Officers with the Berkshire County Sheriff's Office are providing security for the pop-up facility.
Volume appeared to be increasing as of Thursday afternoon, but Leary said numbers were not yet available.
Amanda Drane can be contacted at email@example.com, @amandadrane on Twitter, and 413-496-6296.