Free COVID-19 testing site opens in Lebanon County


LEBANON, Pa. (WHTM) — Lebanon County is currently the hardest hit in the Midstate, with a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases the past few weeks.

That’s why the Pennsylvania Department of Health set up a free testing site at the Lebanon County Fire Training Center.

More than 160 people took advantage of the first day of testing. The state hopes it will slow the spread of the virus.

It’s as easy as driving up, giving some information and getting a quick swab of your nose.

“The idea was to try to bring this mobile unit for COVID testing to see if we can test some of the population around the city and in the city that might have some problems with COVID,” said Dr. Jorge Simental, physician lead at the testing site.

This past week, Lebanon County had the fourth highest percent positivity rate in the commonwealth at 8.7%.

“We have seen a high percentage of the population being asymptomatic, with no symptoms whatsoever and be carriers for COVID,” Simental said.

The hope is new testing will more easily identify those people and allow for contact tracing.

“We know that the COVID has mutated. We see a lot of people that have become supercarriers as they’re calling them, so it’s becoming a big problem. The numbers are rising,” Simental said.

Another big problem concerning doctors is the flu season combined with rising covid cases, especially because they create similar symptoms.

“We have two testing units, one in Reading and one here at the moment. We’ve been moving for the last month to approximately six or seven different counties,” Simental said.

Anyone three years and older can be tested. All you need is a photo ID and insurance card, no appointment necessary.

Those testing are asked to self isolate while waiting for results.

“For the most part if you’re positive we’ll be calling you within 24 to 48 hours,” Simental said. “If not you’ll get an email within three to four days we’ll get the information back to you.”

Testing will be available at the Lebanon County Fire Training Center through Wednesday, Oct. 28 from 7 a.m. To 6 p.m.

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