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Department of Health to Collaborate with Centre County, Adds Testing Sites in Centre and Columbia Counties in Effort to Contain Local Spread of COVID-19

09/18/2020

Harrisburg, PA - Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today announced beginning Friday, Sept. 25, testing clinics will be held at locations in Centre and Columbia counties to contain the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in these counties. In addition, the department is working closely with Centre County in regard to their increase in cases over the last several weeks.

The department has signed a contract with AMI Expeditionary Healthcare (AMI) to provide testing in communities in need across Pennsylvania. AMI will be deploying teams to perform the community testing.

“Since the beginning of September, we have seen an increase of 1,109 cases in Centre County and 173 cases in Columbia County, which gives us significant cause for concern,” Dr. Levine said. “These 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 and quarantine to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

The schedule for testing in both counties is 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM on:

· Friday, September 25;

· Saturday, September 26;

· Tuesday, September 29;

· Wednesday, September 30;

· Thursday, October 1;

· Friday, October 2; And

· Saturday, October 3.

The address for Centre County testing is Nittany Mall, 2901 E. College Avenue, State College, PA, 16801. The address for Columbia County testing is Bloomsburg Fairgrounds, W. Fort McClure Blvd., Bloomsburg, PA, 17815.

Up to 500 registered patients can be tested per day. Testing is on a first come, first serve basis and is at no cost to those being tested. Patients are not required to show symptoms of COVID-19 in order to be tested. No appointment is necessary, but a photo-ID or insurance card is required. Registration will also be completed on-site.

Individuals who are tested should self-isolate while they await test results. For those individuals who live with other people, they should self-isolate in a private room and use a private bathroom if possible. Whoever else lives 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.

In addition, Dr. Levine today offered Centre County officials assistance as they work to contain the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the county.

“I have directed my staff to assist Centre County in identifying localized containment and mitigation efforts to reduce the spread and facilitate communications between large employers, county officials and local governments,” Dr. Levine said. “This group will work together to develop strategic recommendations tailored to this specific area to stop the spread of COVID-19.

This will be a concentrated, short-term effort that will include focused meetings with the county representatives and municipality partners independently. Once these meetings are held, joint meetings will occur with all partners to determine the best steps to assist the county in the work they are doing to contain and mitigate the spread of the virus in their jurisdiction.

Partners in this Centre County effort will include Department of Health staff, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency staff, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Centre County Commissioners, State College Borough, Penn State University, additional local elected officials, local chambers of commerce and other stakeholders.

The department intends to continue its work to assist counties seeing significant increases in new cases through efforts to determine what strategies may best assist the county.

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:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
  • Clean surfaces frequently.
  • Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.
  • If you must go out, you are required to wear a mask when in a business or where it is difficult to maintain proper social distancing.

Updated Coronavirus Links: Press Releases, State Lab Photos, Graphics

MEDIA CONTACT: Nate Wardle, ra-dhpressoffice@pa.gov

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