Bloomsburg Fairgrounds converted into COVID-19 testing site

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WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – A new drive through COVID-19 testing site run by the Department of Health opened today at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds.

The famous Bloomsburg Fairgrounds have been temporarily converted into a drive through testing clinic as COVID-19 cases rise in Columbia County. It’s one of two pop-up testing sites coordinated by the Department of Health as they try to contain any spread of the virus.

On the Friday that would’ve marked the opening of the Bloomsburg Fair, one of the state’s largest fairgrounds, operating instead as a COVID testing site.

One of the hundreds of area-residents who got tested at the drive-through clinic said it was surreal seeing the grounds so empty.

“Today would be the first day of the starting of the fair, so there would be a lot of people as the day goes on. Very interesting. A little scary. But it’s got to be done,” said Adam Fulkersin, Bloomsburg resident.

The Fairgrounds were one of two new Department of Health testing sites that opened Friday; the other, at Nittany Mall in State College.

Dr. Jorge Simental is overseeing the testing for the state-contracted medical organization AMI, saying the effort comes as cases rise in Columbia and Centre Counties.

“They noticed that there was an incident, and they wanted to start doing the testing in those two particular areas right away,” said Jorge Simental, Lead Physician, AMI COVID-19 testing.

Simental says pop-up testing sites like these two- which will remain through next week – offer the state the best opportunity to weed out positive cases in counties with rising numbers and take action.

“Insight into the prevalence of the disease in the area, that’s the main thing. But at the same time, if you have information on positive people you can do tracing as well,” said Simental.

And all results obtained at the sites will be made available to those tested within 24-hours of collection.

Dr. Simental says both testing locations will be up and running through at least next Friday, but could be extended, pending the results.

He says the goal is to test about 500 individuals at each site, each day.

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