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Twelve-week Program Brings COVID-19 Testing to Five PA Regions

December 02, 2020

As community spread of COVID-19 continues across the commonwealth, Governor Tom Wolf, along with Michael Huff—Pennsylvania Department of Health’s (DOH) director of testing and contact tracing—announced a new program to increase access to testing in five regions. The 12-week program began today and will serve the 61 counties in the state that do not already have their own county-run COVID-19 testing system.

This federally funded program is a continuation of an earlier partnership between the DOH and AMI Expeditionary Healthcare, which deployed COVID-19 “strike teams” to provide testing services to counties needing extra support.

Additionally, Governor Wolf and Director Huff announced new testing clinics in Bedford, Mifflin, Tioga, and Northampton counties. These clinics will feature drive-through and walk-in options, and provide a daily total of 450 nasal-swab PCR tests at each site. Director Huff said that the turnaround time for these tests is between two and seven days.

Testing sites are open to all residents over the age of three, even if they are not symptomatic. If someone who was tested at these sites receives a positive result, they must isolate for two weeks, regardless of whether they are experiencing symptoms. Additional instructions for individuals waiting to receive COVID-19 test results (as well as those in their households) are available at the department’s website.

HAP supports efforts to expand access to testing, which is one of the key components of addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. Testing alone cannot control the pandemic, so it is important for everyone to continue to do their part while the vaccination process begins. As more than 400 doctor and nurse leaders affirmed in a public statement last week, every Pennsylvanian has a role to play in stopping the spread of COVID-19, preventing more illness and hospitalization, and supporting our dedicated health care staff.

For more information, contact Scott Mickalonis, HAP’s vice president, emergency management, or Rob Shipp, PhD, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, HAP’s vice president, population health and clinical affairs.