TestMV, the free coronavirus testing site at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, has seen soaring demand and logged record numbers over the past three weeks.

Rising case counts, the approach of the Thanksgiving holiday and imminent travel plans are all factors, a spokesman confirmed.

“It’s a combination of people concerned about the rising infection rate here and then people getting tested prior to Thanksgiving,” said Mary Breslauer, a spokesman for Test MV and Island Health Care, speaking to the Gazette by phone Monday.

Last Friday, Test MV recorded its busiest day to date, with 438 tests in a single day, Ms. Breslauer said. By Monday, the site had blown through Friday’s record, with 470 people scheduled, plus the handful of walk-ins the site expects every day.

The center, operated collaboratively by Island Health Center, Quest Diagnostics and the Island boards of health, was established in June with the goal of testing everyone on the Island for the virus. The site has since become a staple resource, providing widespread PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing at no cost for thousands of Islanders and visitors each week.

Over the summer, the site administered anywhere from 180 to 200 tests each day at the height of the season, Ms. Breslauer said. During the busiest week of the summer toward the end of July, the site tested 1,193 people over six days.

By comparison, last week, the site administered 1,705 tests over five days, Ms. Breslauer said. On Friday, the site had administered a total of 22,048 tests since opening.

And as cases continue to rise, demand has grown proportionally too, with little letup. Owen Burns, manager at the testing site, said they have been functioning at capacity, testing about 400 people daily, or more, since last week.

“Ever since there was an inkling of an outbreak, demand has skyrocketed. It’s a great thing because if people feel insecure about the cases, they can come get tested,” Mr. Burns said Monday.

On Monday morning, minutes before opening at 9 a.m., a fast-growing line of eight cars packed the shoulder of the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, awaiting entry to the site. By 9:30, cars spanned the length of the parking lot, slowly inching toward the testing tents. Back on the main road, the waiting line had grown to 13 cars.

“It’s about to get more crowded than it has ever been,” said Mr. Burns. The first two hours of the morning tend to be the busiest, but cars pack the testing center even during slower periods, he said. “Every time is busy now. The parking lot is busy 100 per cent of the time.”

As Thanksgiving neared, a broad swath of the Island community began registering for asymptomatic testing, Mr. Burns said. This week, Mr. Burns noticed a mix of students returning home from college, residents preparing to travel for Thanksgiving and visitors arriving to spend the holiday week.

“We’ve definitely seen a lot of college kids and people coming and going for Thanksgiving,” Mr. Burns said.

In a similar trend, many of the people registering over the past few weeks have been repeat testers, Ms. Breslauer said.

According to data compiled by Quest Diagnostics and the TestMV site, between June 1 and Oct. 26, a total of 17,950 tests were administered, with 4,406 — or roughly 25 per cent — of those tests administered to people who had previously received a test at the site, Ms. Breslauer said.

Though data for November is not yet available, the proportion of repeat tests has grown in the past month, Ms. Breslauer said. “ I think we can say pretty confidently that the number of re-tests is certainly higher than 25 per cent now,” she said.

The site, which had previously been operating three days a week this fall, recently expanded its hours to accommodate the soaring demand, Ms. Breslauer said. Two weeks ago, the testing center added two additional days to the weekly schedule — Tuesdays and Thursdays — via online registration only.

Appointments for Monday, Wednesday or Friday can be booked online or through the IHC call center. Appointments for minors must be made through the call center.

“We added Tuesdays and Thursdays to meet the demand and keep the site from getting totally slammed,” Ms. Breslauer said.

Mr. Burns said recent changes to the organization of testing tents and waiting lines have also optimized the operation, making it quicker for cars to flow through the parking lot.

TestMV has six full-time employees, as well as a cohort of devoted volunteers, many of whom have begun working shifts every day to meet soaring demand. “This week, we’ve consolidated to a smaller group [of volunteers] who work every day,” said Mr. Burns. “We will be forever in debt to them for their labor.”

Looking ahead, Ms. Breslauer said organizers currently have no clear end date in sight. She expects the site will remain busy as long as infection rates on the Island remain high.

“It’s the sixty-four-thaousand-dollar question,” said Ms. Breslauer, speaker of the center’s future. “I think that we expect it to continue to be this busy as long as this infection rate continues, which of course we hope it doesn’t . . . We’ll stay open five days a week as long as the numbers require it.”

Reflecting on the demand, she added: “We continue to encourage people to wear masks everywhere, to keep their distance and to get tested. There’s no question that Islanders are taking all three to heart.”