With new COVID-19 infections in Bucks County now at more than 350 a day -- the “threat to our communities” is the highest mark since before Christmas -- patient testing is being offered seven days a week through the end of the month at three sites.
And here’s the really good news: no prescription needed; no insurance required; open to all, and it’s free.
The testing, at three Bucks County Community College locations, recently was approved by Bucks officials in a $1.13 million contract with AMI Expeditionary Healthcare. The testing -- up to 350 a day at each county site -- is open to all and is part of Pennsylvania’s rise to the fourth-highest testing rate nationwide.
“We want Pennsylvanians to know that if they need a test, one is available,” said Dr. Rachel Levine, state Health Department Secretary. “As COVID-19 remains a threat in our communities, we need to take precautions to keep ourselves safe by monitoring ourselves for COVID-19 symptoms.”
The three college testing locations are at 1 Hillendale Rd., Perkasie (Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.); 275 Swamp Rd., Newtown (Gymnasium. Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.), and 1304 Veterans Highway, Bristol (Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.).
Patients do not need a doctor’s prescription or insurance coverage, but “should be mindful” of their symptoms before deciding to seek testing, officials said. Common COVID-19 symptoms include fever, high cough and fatigue, while less common are loss of taste and smell, aches and pains, and nasal congestion. Patients are asked to bring a face mask and cell phone. The three sites will offer the free testing through Jan. 31, according to Bucks officials, who noted the locations are potential vaccinations centers in the future.
How critical is testing? A total of 33,463 COVID-19 cases and 932 deaths have been recorded in Bucks during the pandemic. Some 8,189 partial and 310 full vaccinations have been administered in the county so far.
This pandemic crisis is far from over.