Sainato votes to protect Pennsylvanians through COVID-19 testing

HARRISBURG, May 5 – State Rep. Chris Sainato voted Monday for legislation that would require Pennsylvania to develop a comprehensive plan for COVID-19 testing, saying the move is essential to properly protect residents as the state begins to reopen.

Sainato, D-Lawrence, joined an overwhelming bipartisan majority of House members in passing H.B. 2455, which would require the state to first develop and then fund and implement a comprehensive testing plan. The funding would include resources for development and manufacturing of testing equipment and supplies, contact tracing and other measures. Health care and other essential workers would be given testing priority once the plan was activated.

“Our community has faced an unprecedented threat, and in response, our residents have risen to the occasion by practicing safety protocols to contain the spread of the virus,” Sainato said. “But without comprehensive testing, we are missing an essential element of emergency preparedness: understanding the full extent of the risk. As we begin reopening the state in the days ahead, that will become more important than ever. If we can’t pinpoint who is or is not vulnerable, we can’t properly plan to protect those residents.

“A comprehensive and effective testing plan will allow us to meet the threat head on by identifying who is at risk and focusing safety resources where they are most needed. I’m encouraged that this measure passed with strong bipartisan support.”

The bill heads to the Senate for further consideration.