As COVID cases mount, Pa. Department of Health opens test hub near Somerset County border

·3 min read

The Galleria Mall in neighboring Cambria County has become a short-term COVID-19 testing site amid rising area case counts.

The testing site in the old Verizon store at the mall is scheduled to be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Jan. 29. Saturday hours end at 2 p.m.

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“This week more Pennsylvanians will have access to these free testing sites than ever before as we continue to leverage resources and provide the support needed through our partnership with AMI at 9 different locations.” acting Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Keara Klinepeter said in a press release.

“These sites are part of a larger testing effort across the commonwealth that reaffirms the Department of Health’s commitment to working with partners across the state to ensure the consistent accessibility of COVID-19 testing.”

Klinepeter called testing one of the most important ways to combat the spread of COVID-19.

“We encourage anyone who feels they need or wants a test, especially if they think they have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms, to take advantage of the free COVID-19 testing closest to them," she said. "This includes fully vaccinated individuals who are experiencing symptoms.”

Residents can also use the state's testing center locator website to find their nearest center.

Up to 450 people can be tested per day at most testing sites, according to the Department of Health. This free testing is to be conducted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

No appointment is necessary for these visits. Testing is open to individuals from any county who are ages 3 and older. Individuals do not need to be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 to be tested.

A file photo of the inside of the Galleria Mall in Cambria County.
A file photo of the inside of the Galleria Mall in Cambria County.

Patients are encouraged to bring a photo ID, but ID is not required to be tested. Registration is also to be completed on-site.

Department employees recommend that individuals who are tested should self-quarantine while they await their test results. Those who live with other people are advised to self-quarantine in a private room and use a private bathroom, if possible.

Others living in the home with the individual awaiting test results should also stay at home.

Thomas Drug Store in Meyersdale had about a dozen COVID-19 home tests a few weeks ago.
Thomas Drug Store in Meyersdale had about a dozen COVID-19 home tests a few weeks ago.

Somerset County COVID-19 cases

Somerset County has had a confirmed 11,608 COVID-19 cases, 4,892 probable cases and 28,065 negative tests. There have also been 359 deaths from COVID-19 in the county, according to the Department of Health.

Approximately 33,387, or 45%, of county residents have received two vaccine doses. More than 7 million Pennsylvania residents have received two doses.

Across the state, there have been more than 2 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, 433,343 probable cases, 6 million negative tests and 39,093 deaths.

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This article originally appeared on The Daily American: Galleria Mall COVID-19 testing site

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