With approximately 140 active COVID-19 coronavirus cases confirmed in Potter County and an estimated 700-900 other county residents unknowingly infected by the highly contagious disease, the importance of a free drive-through testing clinic that opens on Sunday in Coudersport could not be overstated.
“For yourself, for your loved ones, and for all of those around you, it just makes sense to be tested,” according to Potter County Commissioners Nancy Grupp, Barry Hayman and Paul Heimel.
Free testing will be available daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 27 through Thursday, Dec. 31, at the back parking of Coudersport Area High School. Anyone age three and older can be tested. Mid-nasal passage swab tests will be performed. No appointment is necessary and the testing site is also open to residents from outside of Potter County. Patients are encouraged to bring a photo ID or insurance card.
Turnaround time for testing results is two to seven days. Individuals who test positive will receive a phone call while individuals who test negative will receive a secured PDF by email. They will be provided with detailed instructions to help stop the spread.
“Over the past several weeks, we have seen a rapid increase of positive case counts in the region, which gives us significant cause for concern,” said Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine.
Potter County has had more than 400 confirmed COVID-19 cases diagnosed since Nov. 18. McKean’s case count has risen by 1,060 and Tioga’s by 1,160 over the same five-week period. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recently announced study results showing that, for every confirmed carrier, there are between seven and eight victims who are not aware that they are infected.
Potter County Emergency Management Coordinator Glenn Dunn has been working closely with the Health Department and its testing contractor to make local arrangements. He noted that access will be from East Second Street (Rt. 6) onto Park Avenue and Ross Street.