Massachusetts has launched free COVID-19 testing for eight hard-hit communities in the eastern part of the state.

While cases are lower in Western Massachusetts, some say the region needs more testing access, too.

Gov. Charlie Baker suggested that he would add free testing if cases rose in Western Massachusetts, but waiting until then would be too late, said state Sen. Eric Lesser, D-Longmeadow. Some legislators and public health advocates have backed Lesser's calls for expanded testing access as a prevention strategy.

Lesser said he "wholeheartedly" supports the free testing initiative but wants Western Massachusetts included.

When reached for comment, Baker's press office referred The Berkshire Eagle to his comments from a Wednesday news conference.

"If the folks in Western Massachusetts start to have issues, absolutely," Baker said when asked if he planned to add free testing in the western part of the state.

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