Senate Hearing Causes PA Department of Health to Reverse Course on COVID-19 Testing

HARRISBURG – After a Senate hearing last week highlighted inadequacies in COVID-19 testing in long-term care facilities, the Wolf Administration has reversed course and announced today that they will begin widespread testing of residents and employees, according to Senator Scott Martin (R-13).

Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Rachel Levine said at a hearing last week that the administration would continue to “think” about testing more patients in long-term care communities. Maryland and West Virginia have already ordered testing for all residents and staff of its long-term care facilities.

During her testimony, Secretary Levine said she would take the idea of expanded testing back to her team. Secretary Levine also said the department has been limited in testing because of a lack of supplies and issues with the federal government.

However, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on April 29 that commercial laboratories, which have done more than 2.6 million COVID-19 tests, have excess capacity to meet rising demand.

The Department will now work with commercial laboratories to ensure universal testing for staff and residents within long-term care settings.

CONTACT:   Terry Trego (717) 787-6535

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