By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The Wolf administration says it is working to expand coronavirus testing capabilities across the state through partnerships with Walmart, Quest Diagnostics and Pennsylvania laboratories.
According to statistics, at the height of the first COVID-19 wave in April, statewide testing capacity was under 8,000 tests per day. However, the state is now averaging over 22,000 tests per day and testing about 4% of the population each month.
The CDC says the Commonwealth has conducted "the ninth highest total number of tests" in the country.
Gov. Tom Wolf said in a news release, "If we want to mitigate the spread of this very contagious virus, we must continue to understand how it's impacting Pennsylvania. Most importantly, improving access to testing helps Pennsylvanians who want and need to test for COVID-19. Testing also provides us with critical data to understand where the disease is in our communities so that we can take the necessary proactive measures to stop the spread and continue to protect the public."
To help expand testing, several Walmarts across the state, including five here in the Pittsburgh area, have just started offering testing.
The Walmarts on Walmart Drive in Uniontown, Village Center Drive in Tarentum and Daniel Kendall Drive in West Brownsville launched test sites through the pharmacy drive-thru this week. These sites will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Walmarts on Route 19 in Cranberry and the Chippewa Town Center in Beaver Falls also started running test sites in their parking lots this week. These sites will be open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
The health department says the new sites will open weekly to test up to 50 registered patients. Registration is required one day in advance.
"Walmart is happy to assist Gov. Wolf with reliable timely COVID-19 tests via a convenient drive thru," Jamie Reilly, Walmart regional health and wellness director, said in a news release.
For more information on COVID-19 testing, visit Quest Diagnostics' website here.
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