Update: Conemaugh Opens Testing Site in Richland; Announces Local Testing in Molecular Lab

April 9, 2020

Johnstown, PA (April 9, 2020) - Last week, Conemaugh Health System began testing patients for COVID19 in a drive-through test center at Conemaugh East Hills.  The site ran a pilot on March 31 and was fully operational on Thursday, April 2. The test center has expanding testing to five days per week (M-F), with hours subject to change based on testing needs. Patients need a provider’s order and an appointment to be tested – the service is not open to the public at this time. Area physicians received instructions on ordering and scheduling tests for patients, and dozens of people have been tested at the site.

The drive-up site, located at the back entrance of the Conemaugh East Hills outpatient center at 1450 Scalp Avenue, is staffed by registered nurses in full protective equipment.  By appointment, patients with a physician order can drive through the test area, covered by a large portico. The team will verify the patient’s identity and physician order, ask follow-up screening questions, and collect the sample using a nasopharyngeal swab. In addition to COVID19, each patient will be tested for flu. The ordering physician will contact the patient with results. Patients with a physician order may make an appointment by calling Conemaugh Health System Central Scheduling at (814) 534-9186.

Furthermore, Conemaugh is announcing that it is now offering onsite lab analysis at the new molecular lab at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center. Conemaugh is one of a limited number of non-commercial and non-academic laboratories approved to for COVID19 testing. Running assays in Johnstown in a fully staffed lab operating seven days a week will greatly increase the speed and scope of testing locally. The lab will be able to run 1,300 tests per week and will serve local providers as well as other partners. Test results will be much faster than current times from commercial labs, available many times on the same day of collection.

 “We are pleased to offer expanding testing services to our community and local healthcare providers,” said Tony Campagna, VP of Ancillary, Post-Acute and Support Services. “We understand how important it is to have accessible, fast, safe, high-quality testing for COVID19. There is a shared frustration with the limited testing capacity right now, and we’re thrilled that our investment in our molecular lab in 2019 has equipped us to do the test assays right here, instead of sending them out to other labs. To our knowledge, we are the first lab in the region doing this analysis.”