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Department of Health Announces Two New Free COVID-19 Testing Sites

12/22/2021

Harrisburg, PA - The Department of Health today announced that free outdoor drive-up COVID-19 testing sites are open for the public in Blair and Mifflin counties. The sites are available through a partnership with AMI Expeditionary Healthcare (AMI).   

“The Omicron variant now accounts for nearly 75 percent of COVID-19 cases in our region and across the country,” Acting Secretary of Health Keara Klinepeter said. “The important thing to remember is that we have more tools to slow the spread of COVID-19 than we did at this time last year. We know layered prevention strategies can slow the spread of COVID-19 and help prevent serious illness and hospitalization including getting vaccinated and boosted, wearing masks in public indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status. Consider getting a COVID-19 test prior to gathering with others over the holidays.”

Blair County

Testing is available from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 27, 28, and 29 in the parking lot of Blair Convention Center, 1 Convention Center Drive, Altoona, PA, 16602.

Mifflin County

Testing is available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Dec. 27 and Dec. 28, and from 8 a.m. to noon on Dec. 29 at the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy, 1150 Riverside Drive, Lewistown, PA, 17044.

There are also active testing sites in Berks, Centre, Clinton, Jefferson, Luzerne, and McKean counties.

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.

The 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.

Up to 450 people can be tested per day at each site. 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 do not need to be experiencing 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.

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 Dec. 21, 2021, the department has received 20,987,206 PCR test results. From May 2020 through Dec. 21, 2021, the department has received 6,920,966 antigen test results. The total combined number of tests reported to the department is 27,920,966 since COVID-19 testing began in the commonwealth. The number of Pennsylvanians who have been tested by PCR or antigen tests is 8,534,502 which roughly equates to 66.7 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 5 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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