Department of Health provides update on COVID-19 testing across commonwealth

Coronavirus

A health worker takes a nasal swab sample at a COVID-19 testing site at St. John’s Well Child and Family Center, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic in Los Angeles in July. (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

The Department of Health today provided an update on the 12-week pop-up COVID-19 testing initiative completed in early March 2021, highlighting the total number of patients tested.

The department also provided an update on the current testing initiative with AMI Expeditionary Healthcare (AMI) to provide continued COVID-19 testing across the commonwealth.

“The virus is still present in our communities, which reinforces the need for continued testing across the state,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. “AMI has been a significant partner to the Department of Health by providing pop-up testing in counties across the commonwealth without a health department. Thanks to our ongoing partnership with AMI, we can continue offering COVID-19 testing to anyone who feels they need or want a test. 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.”

The department believes that increased testing will assist in determining the prevalence of the virus and assist the counties in moving forward. Counties of concern, identified as those with percent positives above five percent, can be found on the Early Warning Monitoring Dashboard.

Each county is being monitored as the state continues to examine all available data.

The department has been contracting 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.

Under the contract extension for the 12-week pop-up testing, the department prioritized where to start deploying testing sites based on the total number of confirmed cases per 100,000 people in a county in the past 14 days as well as where outbreaks were happening, county population, and other metrics.

By the end of the 12 weeks, all 61 counties without a county health department had access to testing.

Testing sites were spread across five regions: 

  • Northwest (NW), testing 5,265 patients total;
  • Southwest (SW) testing 5,995 patients total;
  • Northcentral (NC) testing 4,964 patients total;
  • Southcentral (SC) testing 9,061 patients total; and
  • Northeast (NE) testing 9,941 patients total.

A total of 41,250 patients were tested across the commonwealth.

Week 1

  • NW:  Butler county, testing 1,369patients total;
  • SW:  Bedford county, testing 1,171 patients total;
  • NC:  Tioga county, testing 1,096 patients total;
  • SC:  Mifflin county, testing 1,226 patients total; and
  • NE:  Northampton county, testing 2,154 patients total.

Week 2

  • NW:  Warren county, testing 1,264 patients total;
  • SW:  Greene county, testing 898 patients total;
  • NC:  Clinton county, testing 1,150 patients total;
  • SC:  Delaware county, testing 1,970 patients total; and
  • NE:  Wyoming county – testing 958 patients total.

Week 3

  • NW:  Mercer county, testing 1,494 patients total;
  • SW:  Cambria county, testing 1,103 patients total;
  • NC:  Montour county, testing 721 patients total;
  • SC:  Franklin county, testing 1,642 patients total; and
  • NE:  Luzerne county, testing 2,085 patients total.

Week 4

  • NW:  Clearfield county, testing 503 patients total;
  • SW:  Beaver county, testing 963 patients total;
  • NC:  Potter county, testing 425 patients total;
  • SC:  Juniata county, testing 437 patients total; and
  • NE:  Schuylkill county, testing 1,623 patients total.

Week 5

  • NW:  Crawford county, testing 935 patients total;
  • SW:  Somerset county, testing 1,085 patients total;
  • NC:  Union county, testing 383 patients total.
  • SC:  Dauphin county, testing 2,048 patients total; and
  • NE:  Lehigh county, testing 2,243 patients total.

Week 6

  • NW:  Clarion county, testing 195 patients total;
  • SW:  Fulton county, testing 82 patients total;
  • NC:  Bradford county, testing 406 patients total;
  • SC:  Lancaster county, testing 2,069 patients total; and
  • NE:  Pike county, testing 729 patients total.

Week 7

  • NW: McKean county, testing 464 patients total;
  • SW:  Washington county, testing 169 patients total;
  • NC:  Snyder county, testing 234 patients total; 
  • SC:  Adams county, testing 388 patients total; and
  • NE:  Carbon county, testing 586 patients total.

Week 8

  • NW:  Jefferson county, testing 94 patients total;
  • SW:  Armstrong county, testing 167 patients total;
  • SC:  Cumberland county, testing 590 patients total;
  • NE:  Monroe county, testing 276 patients total; and
  • NE:  Wayne county, testing 418 patients total.

Week 9

  • NW:  Elk/Cameron county, testing 106 patients total;
  • SW:  Blair county, testing 269 patients total;
  • NC:  Columbia county, testing 337 patients total;
  • NC:  Sullivan county, testing 43 patients total; and
  • SC:  York county, testing 632 patients total.

Week 10

  • NW:  Lawrence county, testing 29 patients total;
  • SW:  Indiana county, testing 161 patients total;
  • NC:  Lackawanna county, testing 253 patients total;
  • SC:  Lebanon county, testing 263 patients total; and
  • NE:  Berks county, testing 362 patients total.

Week 11

  • NW:  Venango county, testing 157 patients total;
  • SW:  Westmoreland county, testing 60 patients total.
  • NC:  Northumberland county, testing 128 patients total;
  • SC:  Huntingdon county, testing 150 patients total; and
  • NE:  Lackawanna county, testing 205 patients total.

Week 12

  • NW:  Forest county, testing 24 patients total;
  • SW:  Fayette county, testing 20 patients total;
  • NC:  Lycoming county, testing 41 patients total;
  • SC:  Perry county, testing 163 patients total; and
  • NE:  Susquehanna county, testing 34 patients total.

From March 2020 through April 4, 2021, the department has received 11,938,094 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results.

From May 2020 through April 4th, 2021, the department has received 2,394,028 antigen test results. The total combined number of tests reported to the department is 14,332,122 since COVID-19 testing began in the commonwealth.

The number of Pennsylvanians who have been tested by PCR or antigen tests is 5,514,287, which roughly equates to 43.1 percent of the Pennsylvania population. Some people have been tested more than once.

At the beginning of March 2021, the department extended the contract with AMI to provide more targeted and longer-term testing sites to reach vulnerable populations and short-term sites to contain the spread of the virus during outbreaks.

Already, AMI deployed to Susquehanna County in Forest City and tested 53 patients total between March 8th-10th. This site was for Forest City School District students, faculty, staff and partners due to an outbreak.

AMI deployed to Blair, Dauphin, and Luzerne counties in March. Luzerne County has also been performing a targeted initiative since March 9th to make COVID-19 testing accessible for elderly individuals who do not drive or have access to transportation.

To date, over 250 individuals have been tested at 13 different living complexes.

Currently, AMI is deployed in Centre and Delaware counties. Delaware County extended their testing site through April 30th.

For the latest information for individuals, families, businesses and schools, visit “Responding to COVID-19” on pa.gov.

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