Acting PA Health Secretary Klinepeter visits COVID-19 testing site in Berks County

Acting Secretary of Health Keara Klinepeter visited the public testing site in Bern Township Wednesday afternoon to encourage residents to utilize the free COVID-19 testing sites that are open for the public in Berks County and across Pennsylvania, in partnership with AMI Expeditionary Healthcare.

“The Department of Health continues making COVID-19 testing accessible, available, and adaptable for Pennsylvanians at hundreds of locations – and this public testing site is just another example of that,” Acting Secretary of Health Klinepeter said while visiting the Berks County testing site. “Testing opportunities include testing centers, hospitals, health systems, private healthcare providers, pharmacies and schools.”

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The AMI mobile testing resources are designed to rotate to different locations as needed.

“We encourage anyone who feels they need or want a test, especially if they think they have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms, to take advantage of the free COVID-19 testing closest to them. This includes fully vaccinated individuals who are experiencing symptoms,” Klinepeter continued.

In Berks County, testing is available January 5, 6, 7, 2022 from 10am to 7pm, and Saturday, January 8, 2022 from 9am to 3pm. The testing site is located in the parking lot of Direct Link Technologies, 2561 Bernville Road, Reading, PA, 19605. Note, enter the parking lot from Van Reed Road.

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Wednesday was the last day this week the site was scheduled to be open in December, filling its capacity by 2pm. Due to high demand, the state is looking to extend the dates of the site. “The AMI contracts tend to rotate every 1-3 weeks at a time, we got a request from Berks today to extend the testing site longer and we are doing our best to be able to accommodate that” said Klinepeter.

The testing sites are open to anyone who feels they need a test. It is important that even people with no symptoms who have tested positive isolate to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Keara Klinepeter with State Senator Judy Schwann talk to AMI testing staff following the press conference.

Up to 450 people can be tested per day at each site. 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 open to individuals from any county who are ages 3 and older. Individuals do not need to be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 to be tested.

Patients are encouraged to bring a photo-ID, but ID is not required to be tested. Registration will also be completed on-site.

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 from AMI.

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. Counties served under the first contract extension, as well as the total number of patients tested, can be found here.

According to the CDC, as of Monday, December 27, 73.9% of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older are fully vaccinated. This percentage reflects all 67 counties in Pennsylvania.

This week, the Department of Health analyzed the following vaccine data within its 66-county vaccine jurisdiction; Philadelphia is a separate vaccine jurisdiction: 279,989 vaccine doses were administered in the past week, including: 146,007 booster doses administered in the past week. 23,348 pediatric doses administered in the past week. 31.1% decrease in vaccines administered from previous week, largely attributed to the Christmas holiday.

Here is a statewide summary of COVID-19 trends over the past 7 days Monday, Dec. 20 –Sunday, Dec. 26: The daily average number of cases was 9,979. The number of people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 on Monday, Dec. 27 was 0.4 percent lower than on Dec. 20. The percent of available adult and pediatric ICU beds in the state rose to 18% and 17%, respectively.

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