– After significantly reducing the time it takes for Montgomery County residents to receive their COVID-19 test results, Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery) has said the state should follow suit and has asked Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine for a virtual meeting with her staff to discuss how the state can speed up test results. That meeting is Monday, Aug. 10.
Wednesday, Gov. Tom Wolf and Levine announced plans to use Walmart for testing but acknowledged the lab they use is taking up to 14 days to deliver results. Wolf and Levine both explained that turnaround time was unacceptable with Wolf calling the results “useless” under those circumstances. Health experts have complained that with a 14-day turnaround time, most people have already recovered by the time they receive their results.
“Fast, accurate COVID-19 test results are essential to protecting our health,” Stephens said. “What we accomplished in Montgomery County can be done across Pennsylvania.”
In July, Stephens announced he was working with The Physicians Integrated Network (TPIN), an organization of 750 physician specialists serving 1.6 million patients in the Delaware Valley, to reduce the time it takes to receive test results. Afterward, Mako-Medical agreed to provide COVID-19 test results to Montgomery County within 36 hours. Currently, results are taking up to 14 days.
TPIN, through a partnership with Mako-Medical based in North Carolina, has been afforded the opportunity to expand COVID-19 testing in the region. Mako-Medical is providing testing in at least eight other states.
Stephens began working on this initiative when constituents complained they were unnecessarily out of work for 14 days awaiting test results only to receive a negative result at the end of their quarantine period.
“Testing is critical to understanding who needs to stay home to stop the spread of the disease and who can safely return to work,” Stephens said. “I look forward to sharing the strides we’ve made in Montgomery County so the Department of Health can improve the response time for COVID-19 test results statewide.”
Representative Todd Stephens
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster