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Coronavirus

Pennsylvania opens priority testing for ag workers

zstockphotos/Getty Images A health worker in a protective suit taking a nasal swab from a person to test for possible coronavirus infection
TESTING FOR COVID: COVID-19 has forced several slaughter and food production facilities in eastern Pennsylvania to either close or cut hours. Priority testing for food service workers and farmers is now available in Montgomery County and eight counties in northeast Pennsylvania.
Testing is open to farm and food workers in Montgomery County and northeast Pennsylvania.

Ag Secretary Russell Redding has announced that workers supporting Pennsylvania's food supply chain in select areas of eastern Pennsylvania — from farmers and seasonal laborers to food processing facilities and warehouses — will be eligible for priority COVID-19 testing at the Montgomery County mass testing site or the federally funded testing site in Luzerne County, at the Mohegan Sun.

"This priority has been given to workers up and down the supply chain — from farm to store — in Pennsylvania's most at-risk counties for community spread," Redding says. "It's a step to further acknowledge the risk and sacrifice being made by these workers, and further ensure that food will be on the shelves at both our grocery stores and food banks when Pennsylvanians go looking."

The prioritized testing is a direct result of agriculture and the entire food supply chain being deemed as life sustaining, combined with hot spots of COVID-19 in Montgomery County and northeast Pennsylvania, where many of Pennsylvania's food processing facilities are located.

The priority testing is available to any symptomatic adult working in agriculture or food supply who lives or works in Montgomery County or the counties of northeast Pennsylvania — Susquehanna, Wyoming, Luzerne, Carbon, Monroe, Pike, Wayne and Lackawanna.

Testing at the identified sites comes at no cost as the tests are run through Pennsylvania's public laboratory system. A process has been outlined for symptomatic adults, which provides them an appointment for testing within one day of registration.

Operations throughout the supply chain are reminded to implement the best possible COVID-19 mitigation efforts by enforcing social distancing, strictly following the state’s worker safety order and adhering to guidance issued by the department to protect Pennsylvania's workforce and food supply.

For a complete list of guidance documents and information as it relates to agriculture during COVID-19 mitigation in Pennsylvania, visit agriculture.pa.gov/covid. For the most accurate, timely information related to health in Pennsylvania, visit on.pa.gov/coronavirus.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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