Delaware County Ups COVID-19 Test Sites as State Announces Weekly Tests at Nursing Homes

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Technicians at a Taylor Hospital drive-in clinic. Image via Pete Bannan, Media News Group.

Additional COVID-19 testing sites are opening up in Delaware County, even as the state announced Tuesday that it would be testing nursing home residents and staff once a week for the coronavirus.

Health experts support sufficient testing as critical to reduce the spread of the virus. Proper testing identifies and isolates those who are carrying the virus, stated a Tuesday press release from Delaware County Council.

  • A mobile COVID-19 testing site will operate in communities that have the greatest need for testing. The county is determining locations and a schedule which it will release this week.
  • ChesPenn will test their patients and those without a primary care physician at 5 S. State Road in Upper Dadrby and at 125 E. 9th Street in Chester.

ChesPenn is a federally qualified health center that serves low income and medically underserved communities.

Currently, there are two ways in which a resident can be tested for COVID-19 in Delaware County:

  1. A resident can contact his/her primary care physician. The physician will screen the patient and order the test and direct the patient to a testing site at a local health care system.
  2. If a resident does not have a primary care physician, he/she can contact the Chester County Health Department at 610-344-6225 and select option 4.

The CCHD will determine if the resident qualifies for testing based on specific criteria. Residents who meet the testing criteria will be given instructions on when and where to be tested.

The referring physician or a health center will provide results to the patient.

For positive results, the CCHD provides contact tracing and additional follow up.

Rite Aid Pharmacies are also offering testing.

The federal government contracted with Rite Aid to provide free self-swab testing at some Rite Aid Pharmacies.

Residents with or without symptoms can now be tested at the Rite Aid Pharmacy at 762 Chester Pike in Prospect Park.

All Rite Aid COVID-19 testing locations utilize self-swab nasal tests overseen by Rite Aid pharmacists.

Patients are required to provide government-issued identification, be at least 18 years old, and need to pre-register online at www.riteaid.com in order to schedule a time slot for testing.

More information on COVID-19 testing and guidance from the Chester County Health Department can be found here.

Nursing home testing

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said Tuesday that the state has a plan to do more COVID-19 testing at long-term care facilities, like nursing homes, according to why.org.

The state laboratory in Exton will help with the tests, though some facilities might have to rely on private companies.

“Surveillance testing” will be done once a week for employees and residents in many of the facilities, calling it “a concern all around the world.”

To date, most of the patients who have been hospitalized or died in Pennsylvania have been 65 or older. In nursing and personal care homes, there are 12,130 residents with COVID-19 and 1,724 employees with it, spread out over 540 facilities in 44 counties, according to why.org.

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