Pa. is midway via its expanded COVID-19 testing plan

Pa. is halfway through its expanded COVID-19 testing plan

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has established regional transit clinics to expand access to COVID-19 testing.

HARRISBURG, PA. – Adams, Carbon, McKean, Snyder, and Washington counties will host regional drive-through and walk-through testing clinics starting Wednesday, January 20. The districts with test locations will continue to change weekly for the next six weeks, so 61 districts will be covered by special pop-up test locations over a period of 12 weeks.

"In the past few weeks we have seen a rapid increase in the number of positive cases, which has reached record levels, which is a cause for concern," said Dr. Levine. “In fact, every county now has a positivity rate greater than five percent, which is alarming. In addition, 14 districts have a percentage positivity of over 20 percent. "

From March through January 14, the department received 8,219,496 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) results, representing approximately 64.2 percent of the population. From May to January 14, the department received 921,595 antigen test results. The total number of tests combined is 9,141,085, which is approximately 71.4 percent of the total Pennsylvania population.

📢 FREE # COVID19 test clinics held in Adams, Carbon, McKean, Snyder, and Washington counties:
🗓️ January 20th to 24th
🕖 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
🚗 Passage / some accessible interior spaces
✔️ open to anyone who feels they need a test
🚫 No app required – first come, first served

– PA Department of Health (@PAHealthDept) January 15, 2021

The department renewed and expanded its original contract with AMI to run pop-up testing in counties across the state. The first AMI tests and the extension were funded by the federal ELC Enhancing Detection Grant.

Michael Huff, Director of Testing and Contact Tracing, added that testing is going well at these locations.

"With the capacity to test up to 450 people per day, these sites will test thousands of people over the days of setting up the sites," said Huff. "Testing is more important than ever in Pennsylvania and we will continue with a solid testing schedule to help keep Pennsylvania safe and identify cases of COVID-19."

The division believes that increased testing in the counties will help determine the prevalence of the virus and help the county develop further. All 67 counties have percent positivity rates in excess of five percent, a worrying trend for health officials. Each county is monitored while the state continues to review all available data.

"We are grateful for our tremendous partnership with AMI and participating county companies offering pop-up testing in five regions of the Commonwealth," said Dr. Levine. “The AMI test sites are open to anyone who feels they need a test. It is important that people with no symptoms who test a positive isolate also stop the spread of COVID-19. "

Transit clinics will be held starting Wednesday January 20 to curb the recent rapid spike in COVID-19 cases in the following three counties:

The tests are offered daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. through Sunday, January 24th.

The locations and addresses of the test locations are:

  • Adams County: Adams County Emergency Services Division, 230 Greenamyer Lane, Gettysburg, PA, 17325;
  • Carbon County: DCNR Beltzville State Park, 2950 Pohopocco Drive, Lehighton, PA, 18235 – right at the main entrance;
  • McKean County: Former St. Bernard School / Bradford Central Christian High School, 450 West Washington Street, Bradford, PA, 16701;
  • Snyder County: Selinsgrove State School, 145 Meadow Circle, Selinsgrove, PA, 17870; and
  • Washington County: Washington County's Fairgrounds and Exhibition Center, 2151 North Main Street, Washington, PA, 15301.

Up to 450 patients can be tested per day. PCR tests are performed for swab swabs in the center of the nose. The tests are carried out according to availability and are completely free of charge for all patients. Testing is also open to non-county residents. Patients must be at least three years old and not have any COVID-19 symptoms to be tested. No appointment is required. Patients are asked to bring photo identification or an insurance card. Registration is also completed on site. The processing time for the test results is two to seven days after the test.

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