COVID-19 testing site opens at Citizens Bank Park in South Philadelphia, but with restrictions

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A drive-thru COVID-19 testing site opened Friday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park in South Philadelphia as more positive cases were announced.

Officials said the site will be open daily from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

"The site will be open every day during those hours as long as supplies allow," the city said.


While the Community Based Testing Site is open to the public, the city said there are strict eligibility criteria for admission and testing.

The city said the restrictions are necessary because of the limited number of tests.

While a doctor's note or prescription is not needed to be eligible, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health is restricting eligibility for testing at this site to the following groups of people:

-People who are over 50 years of age AND are displaying symptoms consistent with COVID-19 coronavirus.

-Healthcare workers who are displaying symptoms consistent with COVID-19 coronavirus, including:

*Hospital and doctors office staff with direct patient contact

*Nursing home staff with direct patient contact

*People who perform Emergency Medical Services duties

*Home healthcare staff with direct patient contact

If you don't have a doctor and want to get tested, you can go to one of Philadelphia's nine community health centers to be seen and directed. However, city officials say you should call before going to one of those centers by dialing 215-685-1803.

You can find those locations at the Department of Public Health's website.



Action News was there Thursday as testing kits were moved in and tents were set up in the stadium parking lots.

Meanwhile, City officials announced 23 additional positive cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the city total to 67.

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley went into further detail about the ages of the 67 cases:

-One person is under the age of 20; 37 people are between 20-39 years old, 18 people are between 40-59 years old, and 11 people are 60 years of age or older.

-Eight patients have been hospitalized. Two of those eight are between 20-29 years old; three are between 50-59 years old; and three are 60 years old or above.

During an earlier news conference, Farley had a warning about the coronavirus sweeping through the country.

"This is about to get real," he said. "We expect many people in Philadelphia will get this infection."

Dr. Farley says more supplies are needed.

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"These sites are having a shortage of the test kits, the swabs they use to take the samples," he said.

Health officials say they can't test everyone. Farley said healthcare workers will be a priority. Already, 20 have tested positive and those workers are needed on the front lines.

"We have to assume this virus is spreading very rapidly through the city of Philadelphia," he said.

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Philadelphia's health commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley, has a warning about the coronavirus sweeping through the country.



In Montgomery County, a free public drive up testing site will open on Saturday.

It's located at Temple University's Ambler Campus in Upper Dublin Township and will be open to anyone with symptoms. You register either online at www.montcopa.org/COVID-19 or by phone at 610-631-3000.

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Regional leaders are working to ramp up donations and volunteers.

Meanwhile, donations are being centralized through a new website, PHLCOVID19FUND.org.

The money will be funneled to non-profits which will disburse the money. $6.5 million had been pledged prior to the launch on Thursday. Bill Golderer with the United Way of Greater Philadelphia will help steer the fund.

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"Our neighbors need help. They need help from proven trusted leaders who've delivered sacrificially all the time," Golderer said.

The city is expected to open more testing sites. Officials say leases are being worked out.
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