PA Department of Health adds free COVID-19 testing site in Berks County

The Department of Health today announced that a free outdoor drive-up COVID-19 testing site will open in Berks County this week. The sites are available through a partnership with AMI Expeditionary Healthcare.  

“The fight against COVID-19 is not over as highly contagious variants continue spreading,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. “Testing is the best way to identify and help stop the spread of the virus. We continue to work with partners across the state ensuring the consistent accessibility of COVID-19 testing.”

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“We encourage anyone who feels they need or wants 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,” Beam continued.

In Berks County, testing is available Tuesday through Saturday from Nov. 30 – Dec. 11. Tuesday through Friday, testing is available from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday testing is available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The testing location is the parking lot of Direct Link Technologies, 2561 Bernville Road, Reading, PA, 19605. Note, enter the parking lot from Van Reed Road.

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.

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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 Enhancing Detection grant.

From March 2020 through Nov. 23, 2021, the department has received 19,668,561 PCR test results. From May 2020 through Nov. 23, 2021, the department has received 6,342,065 antigen test results.

The total combined number of tests reported to the department is 26,010,626 since COVID-19 testing began in the commonwealth. The number of Pennsylvanians who have been tested by PCR or antigen tests is 8,144,627 which roughly equates to 63.6 percent of the Pennsylvania population. Some people have been tested more than once.

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