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More free virus test sites opening in northern Pennsylvania

June 15, 2020 GMT

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration said Monday that more free coronavirus drive-thru testing sites will open in Walmart parking lots across northern Pennsylvania as it seeks to expand testing to areas where there is little available.

Nine more sites will open Wednesday at Walmart parking lots in Sayre, State College, Edinboro, New Castle, Grove City, Coal Township, Selinsgrove, Lewisburg and Mansfield, the administration said. That brings the total number of free coronavirus drive-thru testing sites in Walmart parking lots to 19, it said.

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The sites will be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. People seeking a test must register online a day in advance and must print out a voucher and bring it with them to the testing site.

Test results are to be emailed within a day or two, and a physician will call a patient who tested positive, the administration said.

Meanwhile, UPMC Northwest also opened a testing site in Reno, in Venango County, open Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 1-833-559-7680.

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CASES

Pennsylvania officials reported 28 additional deaths and 323 new positive cases of the coronavirus.

The Health Department said Monday there have now been 6,243 total deaths from COVID-19, and more than 79,000 infections. Of those, 74% have recovered, the department said.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher than the state’s confirmed case count because many people have not been tested and studies suggest people can be infected without feeling sick.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

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AID FOR INTELLECTUALLY DISABLED, AUTISTIC

The Wolf administration said Monday it has begun distributing $260 million in federal emergency coronavirus aid to agencies that receive Medicaid funding to provide services to more than 40,000 intellectually disabled or autistic people.

Lawmakers approved the use of the money in late May from the nearly $4 billion that the state received through the federal Cares Act.

Of that, $90 million will go to providers of residential, respite, and shift nursing services; $80 million to providers of community participation support services; and $90 million to providers of employment, companion, and transportation services.

The money must be used to offset expenses related to the virus. The agencies have through September to use the money, and must report back to the state on how it was used, state officials say.

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Follow AP coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.