LANCASTER, Pa. — Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health and UPMC Pinnacle have teamed up to offer a COVID-19 testing site in Lancaster.
The site is located outside Clipper Magazine Stadium, 650 N. Prince St., and began operating Wednesday morning.
The site will be open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Staffing, supplies, and IT infrastructure were funded by each partner for their portion of the site set-up, the healthcare entities said Wednesday in separate announcements.
It's the second testing site Lancaster General Health has opened for the people of Lancaster County. The other site is a drive-through testing site located at the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences.
The new site outside Clipper Magazine Stadium will allow individuals to walk through a tent for COVID-19 testing, LG Health said.
The site is not open to the public, and walk-in patients will not be tested, both healthcare systems said in their announcements. The sites are available for people who have been ordered to be tested by their healthcare providers.
In the LG Health portion of the testing site, people must have a test order from their provider, including a video visit via Penn Medicine OnDemand. Testing will be offered for patients ages 10 and older, LG Health said.
Those who do not have a health-care provider with LG Health will be screened at the site, and if appropriate, COVID-19 testing will then be performed by nurses. Registration and insurance information is collected at the testing site; however, no out-of-pocket costs are required.
“They stepped up right from the get-go,” explained Alice Yoder, Executive Director of Community Health for Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health when asked about Clipper Magazine Stadium. “They actually reached out early on within the first few days of the pandemic and contacted us and said, 'how ever we want to use the stadium - just let us know.’ We developed this site specifically to serve Lancaster city residents. There are some people in the city that do not have transportation, and that's mainly why we develop the site specifically for people to walk through.”
For UPMC's part, the patient must be evaluated by their care provider, who then must assess the need and contact the UPMC Pinnacle infection prevention team. That team will review the key information and if testing is deemed needed, an appointment will be scheduled to have their specimen collected.
Patients will receive a call with their scheduled appointment information and should self-isolate until that appointment, UPMC said.
“By locating this collection site outside of Clipper Magazine Stadium, we are able to serve the needs of Lancaster City and the surrounding community in an easily accessible and safe environment,” said Brooks Turkel, president of Lancaster Region, UPMC.
Trained UPMC staff will collect specimens, doing so safely in personal protective equipment that includes gowns, gloves, and N95 masks or respirators.
The process involves a “nasopharyngeal” swab, a thin device inserted through a patient’s nose into the nasal cavity.
Specimens collected by UPMC will be transported to one of three places for testing: the UPMC Clinical Laboratory in Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania’s Department of Health laboratory in Exeter, or a commercial laboratory.
Depending on the laboratory conducting the test, results could be returned in less than 24 hours or within one week, UPMC said.
"This is just really to get us prepared having more than one location within Lancaster County in order to get tested improves access and serves the community better," added Yoder.