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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEJanuary 8, 2020
Department of Health Announces Week-Six of Regional Testing Extension Across the Commonwealth
Harrisburg, PA – Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today announced beginning Tuesday, January 12, regional drive-thru and indoor walk-in testing clinics will be held in Bradford, Clarion, Fulton, Lancaster and Pike counties. The counties with testing sites will continue to change weekly over the next seven weeks so that 61 counties will eventually be covered by dedicated pop-up testing sites over a 12-week period.
“Over the past several weeks, we have seen a rapid increase of positive case counts reaching record-high levels, which gives us significant cause for concern,” Dr. Levine said. “In fact, every county now has a positivity-rate greater than five percent, which is alarming. In addition, 21 counties have percent positivity above 20 percent.”
From March through January 7, the department has received 7,831,153polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results, which roughly equates to 61.1 percent of the population. From May through January 7, the department has received 805,895 antigen test results. The total number of tests combined equates to 8,637,048, roughly 67.4 percent of the total Pennsylvania population.
Pennsylvania is currently in the yellow level of testing – 2,000 to 2,999 tests per 100,000 population – according to the White House Task Force Weekly Report.
The department extended and expanded its initial contract with AMI to perform pop-up testing in counties across the state. Counties under the initial contract, as well as the total number of patients tested, can be found here. The initial AMI testing and the extension were funded by the federal ELC Enhancing Detection grant.
Director of Testing and Contact Tracing, Michael Huff, added that testing is going well at these sites.
“With the capacity to test up to 450 people per day, these sites are getting thousands of people tested during the course of the days-long site set-ups,” Huff said. “Testing is more important than ever in Pennsylvania and we will continue with a robust testing plan to keep Pennsylvanians safe and identify cases of COVID-19.”
The department believes that increased testing in the counties will assist in determining the prevalence of the virus and assist the county in moving forward. Concerning counties, identified as those with percent positives above five percent, which is currently every county in the state, can be found on the Early Warning Monitoring Dashboard. Each county is being monitored as the state continues to examine all available data.
“We are grateful for our tremendous partnership with AMI and participating county entities to provide pop-up testing in five regions across the commonwealth,” Dr. Levine said. “The AMI testing sites will be open to anyone who feels they need a test. It is important that even people with no symptoms who test positive isolate to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
Beginning Tuesday, January 12, drive-thru testing clinics will be held to contain the recent rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in the following three counties:
Fulton and Lancaster counties will also begin Tuesday, January 12, but will be drive-thru and indoor walk-in clinics.
Testing will be available daily from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM starting Tuesday, January 12 through Saturday, January 16.
The testing site locations and addresses are:
Up to 450 patients can be tested per day. Mid-nasal passage swab PCR tests will be performed. Testing is on a first-come, first-serve basis and is completely free to all patients. Testing is also open to individuals who are not county residents. Patients must be ages three and older and are not required to show symptoms of COVID-19 in order to be tested. No appointment is necessary. Patients are encouraged to bring a photo-ID or insurance card. Registration will also be completed on-site. The turnaround time for testing results is two to seven days after testing.
Individuals who are tested should self-quarantine while they await test results. Individuals who live with other people should self-quarantine in a private room and use a private bathroom if possible. Others living in the home with the individual awaiting test results should also stay at home. The department has additional instructions for individuals waiting for a COVID-19 test result. Individuals who test positive will receive a phone call from AMI while individuals who test negative will receive a secured-PDF emailed to them from AMI.
For the latest information for individuals, families, businesses and schools, visit “Responding to COVID-19” on pa.gov.
The Wolf Administration stresses the role Pennsylvanians play in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19:
Updated Coronavirus Links: Press Releases, State Lab Photos, Graphics
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