Pashinski requests consideration for alternative COVID-19 testing site

WILKES-BARRE, April 15 – State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, today requested that the Pennsylvania Department of Health find an alternate location to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre Township for its drive-through COVID-19 testing site, which DOH has scheduled to open Sunday.

“I have the honor of serving the people of the 121st District, which includes the Wilkes-Barre Township Community,” Pashinski said. “That is why I have requested that the Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency meet with, and address the concerns of, our local officials before making a final determination on the location of their testing site. It is imperative that I emphasize the concerns of Wilkes-Barre Township’s officials and residents about the possibility of those being tested possibly having access to many commercial sites within a half mile of the arena. Their concerns are legitimate and demonstrate a sincere sense of fear of the expansion of this virus to themselves, their families and their neighbors and deserve to be addressed.”

Pashinski’s request follows a conversation with local and state officials outlining the testing process, which will follow best practices from the Montgomery County testing site. Officials emphasized that this is not intended to be a mass testing site and that the arena would be used for prioritized testing for first responders, health care workers and those experiencing symptoms of the virus. Officials reiterated that anyone seeking a test must first answer a series of questions that would determine the approval or rejection of the applicant. If the applicant qualifies for the test, they would be tested and then be considered in isolation status and must return directly to their residence and remain in isolation status until the test results are completed and verified.

“As we move forward, our goal is to defeat this virus, save lives and get back to some sense of normalcy as soon as possible,” Pashinski said. “I believe we can do just that by working together, being honest and allowing the facts and our medical experts to guide us to a healthy and safe outcome. That means listening to our local officials and communities who are most impacted by our decisions, and I am hopeful that an agreeable alternative site can be found.”

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