New COVID-19 Testing Site Will Prioritize Elderly and First Responders

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By Associated Press

April 20, 2020

The new site—which is located at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre—was sought because “we continue to see case counts increasing there,” Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said.

A drive-through coronavirus testing site opens this week in northeastern Pennsylvania for emergency and health workers and older commonwealth residents with symptoms, state officials announced Saturday.

The state’s health secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, said the site at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, was sought because “we continue to see case counts increasing there.”

The site will begin testing Monday for 100 first responders and health care workers from northeastern Pennsylvania who have symptoms of COVID-19. Beginning Tuesday, the site will test as many as 200 northeastern Pennsylvania residents over age 65 with symptoms as well as first responders and health care workers each day.

Registration a day in advance on the health department’s website will be required, but patients won’t need a doctor’s prescription. Results should be available in two to three business days, and patients will receive an email to log on to the registration site and access their results, officials said.

People heading to the site will be required to return home and self-isolate after testing, and they are being urged not to make any stops along the way, such as to a grocery store or pharmacy, Levine said.

“We want people to come to the site and then go back home,” Levine said.

Some local lawmakers and residents have raised questions about the testing site.

The editorial writers at the Times Leader wrote in a column last week: “Our worry — and that of many local officials who say they have not yet been contacted by the state — is that a testing site aimed at such a broad area will attract a lot of people, who may very well have the virus and who might not necessarily get their test and go straight home, but who might be tempted to stop and shop at one of the big box stores still open in Wilkes-Barre Township.”

Additional reporting by Kimberly Lawson.


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