HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) – Governor Tom Wolf announced that the Department of Health reached its testing goals in May with more than 283,000 COVID-19 diagnostic test results reported to the department.
In addition, beginning Friday, June 5, various Walmart and Quest Diagnostics drive-thru testing locations across the state will provide testing for residents living in areas with fewer testing sites. No COVID-19 testing will take place inside Walmart stores or Quest Diagnostics Patient Service Centers.
“We appreciate the hard work done by health systems, pharmacies, FQHCs, medical clinics and other entities that are providing testing for COVID-19 across Pennsylvania,” Gov. Wolf said. “This goal is just one step in ramping up the state’s testing capabilities and it demonstrates the tremendous progress made to ensure all Pennsylvanians who need to be tested are.”
Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said, “When we established our testing strategy, we wanted testing to be accessible, available and adaptable and we are working to meet that challenge. Anyone who believes they have symptoms of COVID-19 can get tested today in Pennsylvania.”
A soft launch of five drive-thru testing sites will begin on June 5. These sites will be open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM to test up to 50 registered patients. Registration is required one day in advance. The testing sites that will open on Wednesday include:
- Walmart Supercenter parking lot, 63 Perkins Rd, Clarion, PA
- Walmart Supercenter parking lot, 2711 Elm Street, Erie, PA
- Walmart Supercenter parking lot, 1015 N Loyalsock Ave, Montoursville, PA
- Walmart Supercenter parking lot, 100 Supercenter Drive, Clearfield, PA
- Walmart Supercenter parking lot, 1275 N Hermitage Rd, Hermitage, PA
Additional testing sites will be announced in upcoming days and will be listed on the department’s website.
“After testing, you are required to return home and self-isolate,” Dr. Levine said. “If your symptoms worsen while you are waiting for your test results, talk to your doctor. If you experience a medical emergency, please seek immediate care.”
The Department of Health is partnering with Quest Diagnostics to process the tests. At this time, the tests are being provided at no cost to Pennsylvanians. Patients will create an account on Quest’s patient portal and answer some eligibility questions to determine if they meet the criteria to get tested. The site will be available for appointment scheduling at 6:00 PM this evening.
If the patient is eligible, they will be notified of a testing location within a 50-mile radius of them with available appointment times. The patient will schedule an appointment time, print a voucher and bring the voucher to the location with them to their appointment. Patients will receive an email with their test results within 24 to 48 hours, and physicians will call any patient who has a positive test result.
Through the work of a number of entities, testing is accessible for Pennsylvanians. As entities such as Rite Aid, CVS, Patient First and Walmart offer testing regardless of symptoms, more Pennsylvanians can get tested close to home. Adding these locations to those already offered by hospitals, health systems, FQHCs, health clinics and other locations has expanded the testing network in the state.
With increased testing supplies through state and federal partners and Pennsylvania businesses, testing has become more available in Pennsylvania. This has helped ensure that the swabs and medium are available to conduct testing, and to also roll out universal testing at long-term care facilities.
The department’s testing plan remains adaptable. This includes ensuring everyone in a long-term care facility can be tested, providing all counties with at least one testing location, and other efforts based on the latest data and science surrounding COVID-19.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeating shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying.