The comprehensive coronavirus testing facility at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School was opened to the public on Monday, less than three weeks after the historic partnership was announced that would bring universal testing to the Island.

Chilmark selectman Waren Doty: “These are the people keeping our spirit strong.” — Jeanna Shepard

In a ceremony filled with all the appropriate socially-distant fanfare, a diverse array of Islanders responsible for the unique initiative — including boards of health agents, public safety officials, and town leaders — gathered in the high school’s performing arts parking lot to cut the site’s caution-tape ribbon.

The facility conducted its first tests on Thursday and Friday of last week but was not officially open to the public until Monday morning. Cynthia Mitchell, executive director of Island Health Care, said the site had already tested 32 people on Monday by the time of the ribbon cutting, and that approximately 20 more were scheduled for later in the afternoon.

Before the ribbon-cutting ceremony, West Tisbury police officer Bradley Cortez had volunteered to be tested for a step-by-step demonstration of the process, with members of the media invited as onlookers.

Oak Bluffs police chief Erik Blake: “It’s amazing this came together.” — Jeanna Shepard

The testing initiative came about after a simple backyard conversation between seasonal resident and CEO of Quest Diagnostics, Steve Rusckowski and Mr. Rusckowski’s landscaper, Edgartown selectman Michael Donaroma. After working furiously for about two weeks to get the project off the ground, officials announced the new site in mid-May, and have since worked with public health agents and Island Health Care to hammer out the logistics.

All those involved — and more — were at the site on Monday to commemorate its opening, including officials from almost every town, attorney Ron Rappaport, and members of Island police departments.

Chilmark selectman Warren Doty said the initiative reflected the lyrics of a song that he and his fellow Chilmarkers had written back when the pandemic began, titled Roll On, Martha, Roll On.

“The chorus [goes] ‘our people are keeping our spirit so strong,’” Mr. Doty said to the crowd. “These are the people keeping our spirit strong.”

Mr. Rusckowski, who attended and spoke at the ceremony, agreed, saying it was his goal to make sure the whole Island got tested. Oak Bluffs police chief Erik Blake followed, telling the crowd how important it was for public safety officials that there was widespread testing. Chief Blake said he received his test last week.

Quest Diagnostics president and CEO Steve Rusckowski: “Roll on, Martha.” — Jeanna Shepard

“It’s easy. It’s convenient. It’s centrally located. And that gives people peace of mind,” Chief Blake said. “It’s amazing this came together.”

Mr. Rusckowski’s wife, critical care nurse Deb O’Hara-Rusckowski, spent Monday morning working at the site, donning full protective gear as she observed the day’s first batch of tests. Because the tests are self-administered, IHC is using volunteer licensed medical professionals to watch as patients conduct the swabs.

Mr. Rusckowski reflected on the previous month on Monday, thanking all involved for their work in making tests universally available for the Island.

“It’s fabulous to see where we’ve come, from the germ of an idea several months ago to where we are,” Mr. Rusckowski said. “So roll on, Martha.”