Today, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced that workers supporting Pennsylvania's food supply chain in select areas of eastern Pennsylvania – from farmers and seasonal laborers, to food processing facilities and warehouses, and grocery store workers – would be eligible for priority COVID-19 testing at the Montgomery County mass testing site or the federally funded testing size in Luzerne County, at the Mohegan Sun.
"This priority has been given to workers up and down the supply chain – from farm to store – in Pennsylvania's most at-risk counties for community spread," said Secretary Redding. "It's a step to further acknowledge the risk and sacrifice being made by these workers, and further ensure that food will be on the shelves at both our grocery stores and food banks, when Pennsylvanians go looking."
The prioritized testing is a direct result of agriculture and the entire food supply chain being deemed as life sustaining, combined with hot spots of COVID-19 in Montgomery County and northeast Pennsylvania, where many of Pennsylvania's food processing facilities are located. The priority testing is available to any symptomatic adult working in agriculture or food supply who lives or works in Montgomery County or the counties of northeast Pennsylvania, including Susquehanna, Wyoming, Luzerne, Carbon, Monroe, Pike, Wayne, and Lackawanna.
Testing at the identified sites comes at no cost, as the tests are run through Pennsylvania's public laboratory system. A process has been outlined for symptomatic adults, which provides them an appointment for testing within one day of registration.
Operations throughout the supply chain are reminded to implement the best possible COVID-19 mitigation efforts by enforcing social distancing, strictly following Secretary Levine's worker safety order, and adhering to guidance issued by the department to protect Pennsylvania's workforce and food supply.
"Today's announcement wouldn't be possible without our partners at the Department of Health," added Redding. "I'm grateful for Dr. Levine's steadfast guidance, and her team's support, as Pennsylvania navigates uncharted waters with COVID-19."
For a complete list of guidance documents and information as it relates to agriculture during COVID-19 mitigation in Pennsylvania visit agriculture.pa.gov/COVID. For the most accurate, timely information related to Health in Pennsylvania, visit on.pa.gov/coronavirus.
MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon Powers – 717.783.2628