PA-ACP seeks Covid-19 testing program changes

PA-ACP continues to promote vaccination and other mitigation efforts, and is also working to ensure that testing is an integral part of our public health approach.

The federal government’s program to ship rapid home tests has a limited impact, and is a one-time partial solution.  The rapid home test kits are in scarce supply and frequently out of stock at pharmacies and online retailers, forcing more people to in-person testing locations where they may infect others, have to wait 2-3 days for results, or worse, not get tested at all.

PA-ACP has urged Governor Wolf to contact the Biden Administration about coordinating a centralized rapid home test kit distribution in the state health department, similar to what has been done with the COVID-19 vaccines and antiviral medications. In a letter signed by eight other statewide physician organizations and nine county medical societies, we proposed distribution of the test kits be conducted via the county and municipal health departments and state health centers, securing more test kits and making them easily accessible where most needed.

The physician organizations also asked that a portion of the federal COVID-19 Relief Funding be utilized by the Wolf Administration to establish a state-operated home test kit distribution program. Several states including Colorado, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Washington have implemented such programs.

Given the involvement of the federal strike teams, and the Pennsylvania National Guard, the organizations also requested the Guard be utilized to stand up rapid in-person testing sites throughout the commonwealth. This would give citizens another option to obtain rapid results to make an informed decision prior to interacting with others at gatherings or events, hopefully reducing the transmission of the virus.