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Department of Health Announces Week-Nine of Regional COVID-19 Testing Extension Across the Commonwealth

02/03/2021

Harrisburg, PA - The Department of Health today announced beginning Friday, February 5, regional drive-thru and indoor walk-in COVID-19 testing clinics will be held in Blair, Columbia, Elk/Cameron, Sullivan, and York counties. The counties with testing sites will continue to change weekly over the next four 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 the department significant cause for concern,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. “Every county now has a positivity-rate greater than five percent. In addition, three counties have percent positivity above 15 percent and one county has percent positivity above 20 percent.”

From March 2020 through February 2, 2021, the department has received 9,329,891 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results, which roughly equates to 72.9 percent of the population. From May 2020 through February 2, 2021, the department has received 1,277,389 antigen test results. The total number of tests combined equates to 10,607,280, roughly 82.9 percent of the total 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.

The department is grateful for the tremendous partnership with AMI and participating county entities to provide pop-up testing in five regions across the commonwealth. 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, February 5, drive-thru testing clinics will be held to contain the spread of COVID-19 cases in the following three counties:

  • Columbia;
  • Sullivan; and
  • York.

Blair and Elk/Cameron counties will also begin Friday, February 5, but will be drive-thru and indoor walk-in clinics.

Testing will be available daily from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM starting Friday, February 5 through Tuesday, February 9.

The testing site locations and addresses are:

  • Blair County:  Blair County Convention Center, 1 Convention Center Drive, Altoona, PA, 16602;
  • Columbia County:  Bloomsburg Fairgrounds, Fort McClure Blvd., Bloomsburg, PA, 17815;
  • Elk/Cameron County:  Bucktail Plaza, 1305 Bucktail Rd., Saint Marys, PA, 15857;
  • Sullivan County:  Sullivan County Fairgrounds, 4430 Route 154, Forksville, PA, 18616; and
  • York County:  Harrisburg Area Community College, HACC - York Campus, 2010 Pennsylvania Ave., York, PA, 17404.

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:

  • 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: April Hutcheson - RA-DHpressoffice@pa.gov

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