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Dept. of Health: Cases rising, testing decreasing

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HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — On Tuesday, Department of Health Senior Advisor on COVID-19 Response Lindsey Mauldin held a press conference to discuss COVID-19 testing in Pennsylvania. 

“Despite the number of cases rising, we are seeing the demand for testing decrease. We need to redouble efforts to increase the use of testing even as we ramp up the vaccination process,” Mauldin said.

According to the Department of Health press release, the department believes that increased testing will assist in determining the prevalence of the virus and assist counties of concern, identified as those with percent positives above 5 percent, to move forward.

“Testing initiatives for K-12 schools are being prioritized next. Meanwhile, the department of health responded promptly to a COVID outbreak in Susquehanna County last month by sending AMI to four different school districts to contain the spread.”

The department has been contracting with AMI to perform pop-up COVID-19 testing in counties across the state using funds by the federal Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) Enhancing Detection grant.

Mauldin also called out Luzerne County specifically during the conference.

“Luzerne County testing sites have been unique in that the majority of sites focus on bringing testing into high-rise senior living communities. These high-rise sites have been set up since March 9 to make testing accessible for seniors who do not drive or do not have access to transportation.”

While vaccine distribution remains limited, the Department of Health encourages the commonwealth to continue testing while COVID is still widely prominent.

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