WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Governor charlie baker announces today that the Big E Fairgrounds will become a COVID-19 testing site for first responders and public safety.

Usually, the Big E fairgrounds are filled with people for events throughout the year.

Right now, the lots are empty, but soon first responders who show coronavirus symptoms can come here and get tested.

Governor Charlie Baker in a press conference Monday announcing testing sites for first responders and public safety.

One of them is right here in western Massachusetts.

"There's another one that will be going up - probably this week at the Big E in West Springfield," Gov. Baker said.

Mayor of West Springfield, William Reichelt told Western Mass News he's happy to welcome first responders to get tested in his town.

"I'm very happy that the Big E was so willing to volunteer their site. It's really good for western Mass, and I think it's going to be good for all of our front line workers that out here that can get tested right here in West Springfield," Mayor Reichelt said.

Some western Mass residents, including Agawam resident Suzanne Maynard who think it's the right site, location wise.

"I think it's wonderful. They have the room. Nothing's going on there at this time. I think it's great. I know they can house people there take care of them," Maynard said.

Eugene J. Cassidy, president, and CEO of the Big E released a statement to Western Mass News today, saying quote:

"We are pleased to play a part in this very important operation to ensure the health and safety of first responders who are on the front lines. We are looking forward to doing more if we are called upon for help."

Gov. Baker and the mayor said testing is supposed to begin sometime this week.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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