Local residents needing to get tested for the novel coronavirus will have another option available to them beginning today, as the Bradford Walmart is set to open a drive-thru testing site in its parking lot.
Bradford’s supercenter is one of five in the state of Pennsylvania opening COVID-19 testing sites today, with the others located in Mill Hall, Punxsutawney, Cranberry and Warren.
Last Friday, testing sites were opened in Clarion, Erie, Montoursville, Clearfield and Hermitage.
The sites are a partnership between Quest Diagnostics, Walmart and the Pennsylvania Department of Health to provide testing for residents living in areas with limited access to sites otherwise. The tests are free of charge.
“Walmart is part of the community, and we are proud to help support the expansion of COVID-19 testing in Pennsylvania during this unprecedented time,” Walmart public affairs director for Pennsylvania Jason Klipa said in a press release.
In his own release, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said, “These additional testing sites help us further ramp up the state’s testing capabilities and make sure those who may have had access barriers to a COVID test can now get one easily and at no cost. We will continue to add testing sites so every Pennsylvanian who needs a test can get one.”
Those wishing to get tested at the store must first set up an appointment, which can be done by going through Quest’s MyQuest portal at www.MyQuestCOVIDTestPA.com. Once there, individuals will be screened and then an appointment will be scheduled for those who meet medical eligibility for the test.
After scheduling an appointment, patients will print a voucher and take that voucher to the testing site.
The testing is available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7 until 9 a.m., weather permitting, and up to 50 registered patients can be tested daily.
The testing is for adults who meet CDC and state and local guidelines on who should be tested, including first responders, health care providers and others with symptoms of COVID-19. Individuals must be at least 18 years of age to get the test.
Once at the site, those with appointments will need to wear a mask and stay in their cars for the duration of the test. A form of ID is required, and the test will not be given to those who walk up.
The test will consist of a self-administered nasal swab. Individuals will swab their own noses onsite while observed by a trained medical volunteer. The sealed sample will be dropped into a container as the person getting tested exits the site.
The tests will be processed by Quest Diagnostics, and results will be communicated by email to those tested and local departments of health within 24-48 hours, according to a press release by Wolf’s office. Physicians will also call any individuals that test positive.
“After testing, you are required to return home and self-isolate,” Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “If symptoms develop or worsen while you are waiting for your test results, talk to your doctor. If you experience a medical emergency, please seek immediate care.”