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Free COVID testing site changes venues in Centre County

BELLEFONTE — A free COVID-19 testing site will soon open in Bellefonte.

According to a news release from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, beginning Tuesday and continuing through Saturday, May 29, a clinic will be held at the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority Interpretive Center, located at 253 Transfer Road in Bellefonte.

The announcement came from the DOH on Saturday.

The clinic had been at the Patton Township Municipal Building from March 30 through this past Saturday.

“The continuation of the free, no appointment needed COVID-19 testing site allows those who haven’t signed up for a vaccination yet to get a test,” said Michael Pipe, chair of the Centre County Board of Commissioners. “Talk to your doctor today about getting a COVID-19 vaccine. They’d be happy to answer your questions.”

The new location will be an outdoor walk-up site. Hours will remain the same. The testing site will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

Free testing is open to anyone age 3 or older on a first-come, first-serve basis. No appointment is required and patients do not need to have COVID-19 symptoms to get tested. Patients are encouraged to bring a photo ID or insurance card to the testing site.

According to the release, up to 450 people per day can be tested. Mid-nasal passage swab PCR tests are performed and turnaround time for results is one to three days after testing, the release said.

AMI Expeditionary Health Care will continue administering the tests under a contract with the health department.

The Centre County site is one of five AMI COVID-19 free testing clinics in Pennsylvania. There are also sites in Delaware, Monroe and Northampton counties. There is a new one opening today in Luzerne County.

There has been free COVID-19 testing in Centre County for quite some time. A testing site at the old Bon-Ton department store inside the Nittany Mall was open from September through January. That testing site moved to the former Comcast building at 1155 Benner Pike in 2021.

Centre County has used a portion of its CARES Act block grant to fund the free testing.

During the five months the clinic was sponsored by the county, it administered about free 13,000 tests, county officials say.

For more information about COVID-19 or free testing, visit www.centrecountypa.gov or health.pa.gov.

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