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Department of Health Extends Free COVID-19 Testing in Centre County at New Location

More Than 19,000 Tests Administered Since October 2020

09/02/2021

Harrisburg, PA - The Department of Health today announced that today, Thursday, Sept. 2, a free indoor walk-in COVID-19 testing site will open for the general public in Centre County. This site is available through a partnership with AMI Expeditionary Healthcare (AMI) and Centre County officials.

“The fight against COVID-19 is not over and testing is the best way to identify and help stop the virus from spreading,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. “Centre County is one of many counties across the state ensuring the consistent accessibility of COVID-19 testing. We encourage anyone who feels they need or want a test, especially if they think they have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms, to take advantage of the free COVID-19 testing clinics closest to them. This includes fully vaccinated individuals who are experiencing symptoms.”

Testing is available Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today through Saturday, Oct. 31 at Nittany Mall, Sears Auto Center, 183 Shiloh Road, State College, PA, 16801.

AMI began testing in Centre County in October 2020 under a direct contract with the county until March 27, 2021. During that time, 11,815 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests were administered. Under the department’s guidance and request, starting March 27 through Aug. 30, several locations within the county hosted COVID-19 testing sites. AMI was the testing vendor at all sites and conducted an additional 7,932 PCR tests. In total, AMI has conducted 19,474 PCR tests in Centre County from October 2020 through August 2021.

The AMI testing sites are open to anyone who feels they need a test. It is important that even people with no symptoms who have tested positive, isolate to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people who are fully vaccinated and have a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 be tested three-to-five days after exposure, and to wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result. Otherwise, the department recommends getting tested if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.  

Up to 450 people 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. No appointment is necessary. Testing is open to individuals from any county who are ages 3 and older. Individuals are not required to show symptoms of COVID-19 to be tested. Patients are encouraged to bring a photo-ID, but ID is not required to be tested. Registration will also be completed on-site. The turnaround time for testing results is one to three days after testing.

In addition, Pennsylvanians can find testing sites in their area on the locator map here. Counties in need of a COVID-19 testing site should contact the Pennsylvania Department of Health to discuss the possibility of setting up a pop-up testing site.

Individuals who are tested should self-quarantine while they await their 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 from AMI.

The department has contracted with AMI to perform pop-up COVID-19 testing in counties across the state since September 2020. The contracts were funded by the federal Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) Enhancing Detection grant. Counties under the initial contract, as well as the total number of patients tested, can be found here. Counties served under the first contract extension, as well as the total number of patients tested, can be found here.

From March 2020 through Sept. 1, 2021, the department has received 16,036,893 PCR test results. From May 2020 through Sept. 1, 2021, the department has received 4,385,919 antigen test results. The total combined number of tests reported to the department is 20,422,812 since COVID-19 testing began in the commonwealth. The number of Pennsylvanians who have been tested by PCR or antigen tests is 6,932,731 which roughly equates to 54.2 percent of the Pennsylvania population. Some people have been tested more than once.

For the latest information for individuals, families, businesses and schools, visit “Responding to COVID-19” on pa.gov.

The Department of Health is working to ensure the vaccine is provided in a way that is ethical, equitable and efficient to all Pennsylvanians: 

  • All Pennsylvanians age 12 and older are eligible to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine. Use Vaccine Finder to find a COVID-19 vaccine provider near you.
  • A commonwealth COVID-19 vaccination guide explains the current process for getting one. Pennsylvanians with questions about the vaccination process can call the Department of Health hotline at 1-877-724-3258.
  • Vaccine dashboard data can also be found on the website to find more information on the doses administered and showcase demographic information.
  • The Unite Against COVID Weekly Update is a round-up of news you can use and answers to your most pressing vaccine questions – delivered directly to your inbox every week.
  • Frequently asked questions can be found here.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark O'Neill - RA-DHpressoffice@pa.gov

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