Preparations in place for Lackawanna County COVID-19 testing site

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DICKSON CITY, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A four-day COVID-19 testing site in Lackawanna County starts Saturday. Friday, the county and those administrating the COVID-19 tests began setting up.

The Department of Health has confirmed nearly 4,300 positive cases in Lackawanna County since the start of the pandemic, and 230 people have died.

Since the beginning of September, Dr. Rachel Levine says the county has seen 2,776 positive cases, which she says is significant cause for concern, leading to the testing site here.

Cones are being set to guide nearly 2,000 people through the former Dickson City K-Mart parking lot.

“We’re going to be setting up tables and tents over here, we have the mobile command center.. Just trying to get everything together,” said Ashley Johns, a physician assistant.

Johns is with AML Expeditionary Healthcare. AML is contracted through Pennsylvania Department of Health to administer 440 COVID tests per day at the site.

“When they get to the front of the line, we will need to collect their government issued ID and if they have their health insurance card, their health insurance card. We will scan that; we will have them fill out paperwork so we can put them in our system. Then they will pull forward,” Johns said.

Patients will have both nostrils swabbed. From filling out paperwork to getting swabbed, it takes about five to 10 minutes. Lackawanna County EMA brought one of its hospital tents to the site.

“Anybody that wants to get out of their vehicle and come into the tent they can get tested inside. The tent is heated and air condition it’s climate control so it’s ready to go,” said Chris Chermak, (R) Lackawanna County Commissioner.

The state department of health reached out to the commissioner’s office earlier this week, asking if they can assist with setting up to continue to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s definitely a necessity. We’ll get as many people as we can tested,” Chermark said.

For anyone who is nervous about getting a swab test done, the physician assistant with AML said the tests will only go in your nostrils about two inches.

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