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Department of Health Announces Week-Three of Regional Testing Extension Across the Commonwealth

12/16/2020

Harrisburg, PA - Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today announced beginning Friday, December 18, regional drive-thru and indoor walk-in testing clinics will be held in Cambria, Franklin, Mercer, Montour, and Luzerne counties. The counties with testing sites will change each week over the next 10 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, two counties have percent positivity above 30 percent and 15 counties have percent positivity above 20 percent.”

From March through December 16, the department has received 6,614,819 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results which roughly equates to 51.6% of the population. From May through December 16, the department has received 474,276 antigen test results. The total number of tests combined, 7,089,095, roughly equates to 55.4% of the Pennsylvania population.

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.

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 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 Friday, December 18, drive-thru and indoor walk-in testing clinics will be held to contain the recent rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in the following three counties:

  • Cambria;
  • Franklin; and
  • Montour.

Mercer and Luzerne counties will also begin Friday, December 18, but will solely be drive-thru testing clinics.

Testing will be available daily from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM starting Friday, December 18 through Tuesday, December 22.

The testing site locations and addresses are:

  • Cambria County:  Reliant Energy Building, 1001 Broad St., Johnstown, PA, 15906;
  • Franklin County:  Chambersburg Mall, 3055 Black Gap Road, Chambersburg, PA, 17202;
  • Luzerne County:  Mohegan Sun Pocono Casino, 1280 PA-315, Wilkes-Barre, PA, 18702;
  • Mercer County:  Old Sears Auto Center in Shenango Valley Mall, 3303 State Street, Hermitage, PA, 16148; and
  • Montour County:  Montour-Delong Community Fairgrounds, 5848 Broadway Road, Danville, PA, 17821.

The drive-thru testing site in Luzerne county will begin at 12:00 PM on Friday, December 18 due to the inclement weather. It will conclude at 6:00 PM on Friday, December 18 and then follow the regular 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM schedule Saturday, December 19 through Tuesday, December 22.

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. 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:

  • 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.
  • Download the COVID Alert PA app and make your phone part of the fight. The free app can be found in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store by searching for “covid alert pa”.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Nate Wardle - 717-787-1783

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