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PA sags in ranking of COVID-19 tests

PA ranks 51st out of 50 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico in its COVID-19 testing efforts, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

Our state is second to Puerto Rico for the last-place ranking. This is a public health failure of our health care systems, federal, state and local leadership. There are less than 20,000 COVID-19 tests done with a population of more than than 120,000 people in Blair County as of Oct. 15.

Dr. Deborah Birx of President Donald Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force spoke to Penn State on Oct. 14.

Her prevailing message was to increase testing to control the spread of COVID-19. Up to 40% of infected people have no symptoms and can transmit to those close to them at home, work, school or church without knowing it.

Front-line people such as health care providers, teachers, police, clergy, grocery clerks, food service workers and especially students should be tested often and regularly.

More testing is the only method for finding those without symptoms that can spread the disease.

We and our families are at an increased risk for sickness and death as we try to navigate our day to day lives with insufficient testing.

Additionally, how can we have confidence to live safely during this worsening pandemic without knowing from testing, tracing and isolating those who are ill?

Clearly, what you don’t know may hurt you.

There is not a good reason for PA to be near last in the country for their testing effort.

Robyn Daniels CRNP

Altoona

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