Health officials are anxious of a potential holiday surge of COVID-19 like we saw after Thanksgiving. But luckily for people in the region, free COVID-19 testing available.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has aimed to offer free COVID-19 testing to all 67 counties. This week it is Somerset County’s turn. Testing is being offered in drive-thru and walk-up styles at the Georgian Place in Somerset.
“The great thing about our sight is all you need is a form of identification. You don’t have to have symptoms, a doctor’s note. You don’t have to have been exposed to COVID, just show up with your ID and we can get you tested. So, we are trying to increase access to care in Pennsylvania,” said physician assistant, Ashley Johns.
This site couldn’t have come at a better time, according to Somerset County EMA director, Joel Landis, right after the holiday season.
“People might have been in congregate settings or they might have traveled out of state and they require a test. So this is a good opportunity coming out of the holiday season to obtain one of those tests,” said Landis.
Cars began lining up an hour before the site opened. Each day, the site can test up to 450 people. It is on a first come, first serve basis. I spoke with people who were waiting their turn to get tested, who said they didn’t mind the wait.
“We’ve been in line for about 30 minutes and we are almost through it, so it’s been pretty simple. They came around with paperwork, we filled it out put our license on it and that’s pretty much the end of it,” said Rockwood resident, Jesse Edminister.
The site is open to anyone, ages three and older. Officials are urging residents to take advantage of the testing site.
“So it’s extremely important if you are wanting to get tested it is readily available. It is no charge, no need for a doctors order to get the testing, and I’m not sure when the testing, if the testing will be available in this format,” said Landis.