REYNOLDSVILLE — The Pennsylvania Department of Health, in conjunction with Jefferson County, will sponsor a COVID-19 mass testing site at the DuBois Regional Airport, 377 Aviation Way, Reynoldsville, between the hours of 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. starting Jan. 28 through Feb. 1, according to the Jefferson County Department of Emergency Services.

The Department of Health has contracted with AMI Expeditionary Health Services to conduct the testing. The Jefferson County Department of Emergency Services will act as the logistics coordinator for the site. This testing initiative is free to everyone between the ages of 3 years old and up who wants to get tested. AMI will ask for private insurance information to help cover the lab fees, however if insurance is not available, AMI will submit to the federal government for reimbursement of costs, according to a news release from JCDES.

AMI has conducted testing in approximately 60 counties within Pennsylvania under contract with the DOH. Their services include capturing the test culture and processing it at the lab, then providing the test results to the individual privately. Jefferson County and the Department of Emergency Services will not collect any patient information, according to the news release. All patient information will be kept confidential.

There is no appointment needed and individuals will be allowed to be tested without getting out of their vehicle. Walk-up testing will be available if needed.

The DOH believes that increased testing in the county will assist in determining the prevalence of the virus and assist the county in moving forward, according to the news release. While the vaccines will be forthcoming, testing will provide a better picture of the spread of the virus so vaccination clinics can be planned for.

“Jefferson County is in the substantial spread of the virus, which is its highest rating available. While case counts are coming down slightly, the virus is still present and we want to do everything possible to eradicate it from the county,” the JCDES said in its news release. “It is important that anyone that wants tested can get tested without any complications or concerns. We would like to thank the Airport for their cooperation with this venture.”

According to the release, this pop-up testing is not limited to just Jefferson County residents. Residents in neighboring counties or who are in the county for whatever reason will have an opportunity for testing.

“It is important that we continue to follow the mitigation measure guidelines of social distancing, washing hands and utilizing hand sanitizer, and wearing some type of a facial covering if your system will allow it,” the JCDES said in the release.

The release continued, “Jefferson County has been in daily talks with our hospitals and pharmaceutical providers preparing for and responding to the vaccination of our critical workforces and the public. Current initiative is to get all healthcare workers and first responders vaccinated, as well as the older populations within our long-term care facilities. The federal government has contracted with CVS and Walgreen’s Pharmacies to provide the vaccines to those in the long-term care facilities as part of Operation Warp Speed. We will continue to keep in dialogue with those facilities to make sure that no one is missed. As in the beginning of the COVID-19 response, things continue to change rapidly, however we will continue to do our best to keep on top of it for our county.”

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