DOH announces free COVID-19 testing site in Centre County
STATE COLLEGE — Stressing the need for continued COVID-19 testing even as vaccinations accelerate, the Department of Health announced Friday that beginning Tuesday, March 30, a long-term 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 virus is still present in our communities, which is evident by the recent rise in COVID-19 cases statewide,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. “This reinforces the need for continued testing across the state. We encourage anyone who feels they need or want a test to take advantage of all COVID-19 testing clinics if they feel they have been exposed to COVID-19. Much of the news and attention has shifted to COVID-19 vaccines, but testing is still the best way to determine your exposure to and to ultimately stop the spread of COVID-19.”
Beginning Tuesday, March 30 through Saturday, May 1, testing will be available daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Patton Township Municipal Building, 100 Patton Plaza in State College.
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 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. 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.
The AMI testing site will be open to anyone who feels they need a test. It is important that even people with no symptoms who have tested positive isolate in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.
There are three other long-term COVID-19 testing sites currently running across the commonwealth in Blair, Dauphin and Delaware counties. Luzerne County is running a week-long public testing site this week, March 23-27, and has also been performing a targeted initiative since March 9 to make COVID-19 testing accessible for elderly individuals who do not drive or have access to transportation.
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 to them from AMI.
The department believes that increased testing in counties will help determine the prevalence of the virus and assist the county in moving forward. There are currently 46 counties in the commonwealth where the percent of positive cases is above 5 percent on the Early Warning Monitoring Dashboard. Each county is being monitored as the state continues to examine all available data.
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.
From March 2020 through March 25, 2021, the department has received 11,500,247 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results. From May 2020 through March 25, 2021, the department has received 2,214,478 antigen test results. The total combined number of tests reported to the department is 13,714,725 since COVID-19 testing began in the commonwealth. The number of Pennsylvanians who have been tested by PCR or antigen tests is 5,365,570, which roughly equates to 41.9 percent of the Pennsylvania population. Some people have been tested more than once.
Counties in need of a long-term COVID-19 testing site should contact the Pennsylvania Department of Health to discuss the possibility of setting up one of the four remaining AMI long-term pop-up sites.
For the latest information for individuals, families, businesses and schools, visit “Responding to COVID-19” on pa.gov.