Pa. Acting Health Secretary to visit Delco COVID-19 testing site, local officials speak on demand

Klinepeter's visit comes as officials say there continues to be a growing need for testing to help slow the spread of omicron.
YEADON, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Pennsylvania's Acting Health Secretary Keara Klinepeter is scheduled to visit a COVID-19 testing site at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital Thursday to discuss testing accessibility and availability across the state.

Delaware County officials said they are able to test hundreds of people a day at the drive-thru site in the hospital parking lot.

They're providing free PCR tests from 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, but the days will change the week of January 10 to Tuesday - Saturday.

No appointments or insurance is necessary. Just bring an ID.

Klinepeter's visit comes as officials say there continues to be a growing need for testing to help slow the spread of the omicron variant across the region.

"Over the past two weeks, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Philadelphia have skyrocketed," said Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole. "Most people being hospitalized for COVID are not fully vaccinated, and I'm told by hospital medical directors that those who are hospitalized and vaccinated are usually not boosted."

Bettigole says a FEMA-run testing site is expected to fully open Friday at the Cibotti Recreation Center in Southwest Philadelphia.

The site will run seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Bettigole says there are steps people should take if they have trouble getting tested due to long lines and short supply of home kits.

"With positivity edging toward 50%, if you have a cough or cold symptoms, a fever or other upper respiratory symptoms, odds are very good right now that you have COVID. So, if you can't get tested, please assume you are positive. Stay home, drink fluids, rest and try to avoid giving it to anyone else," Bettigole said.

In Montgomery County, Philadelphia's largest suburb, officials say hospitals are full, but managing, and are urging people to only use emergency rooms for dire emergencies, not for minor illness or testing.

Over in Camden County, New Jersey, a newly opened testing site along Mount Ephraim Avenue in Camden is offering PCR saliva tests on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
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