Commissioners Looking to Promote Alternate Options for COVID-19 Testing

257

WARREN, Pa. The Warren County Commissioners are looking into ways to ease the strain on Warren General Hospital, specifically the Walk-In Clinic when it comes to COVID-19 testing.

At Tuesday’s work session, commissioners Jeff Eggleston, Tricia Durbin, and Ben Kafferlin discussed the possibility of using $5,0000-$10,000 in funding to promote alternate options, including Gaughn’s Drug Store and Darling’s Home as well as Darling’s.

“Talking with Ken McCorrison (Warren County Director of Emergency Management and Public Safety) and kicking ideas around, fundamentally with the increase in COVID statewide, the clinic and several other places have been slammed with people seeking COVID testing,” Eggleston noted. “After talking with Gaughn’s and Darling’s, we’ve come up with a couple of options to create other channels for testing.”

They discussed three possible options – advertise and promote the other options, specifically Gaughn’s and Darling’s and anyone else that has a testing site other than the hospital.

The second option would be to subsidize Darling’s testing system to help reduce the cost of the $50 15-minute rapid test to $15.

The third option would be buying the home tests from Gaughn’s at $15 per test and having a distribution center for them. The Gaughn’s tests take up to 48 hours to get results, but are considered the top option for those who may be asymptomatic, while the rapid tests at Darling’s are considered ideal for those who are displaying COVID-19 symptoms, Eggleston explained.

“I don’t think people know all the testing options that are available,” Eggleston said. “I wasn’t aware that Chris (Darling) had that quick test available. I would bet 98 percent of people in trouble with COVID think they have to go to the hospital. My assumption is that if we promote Gaughtn’s and Darling’s, the strain on the clinic will go down. They can do a max of 150 tests a day and they’ve almost broken that a couple of times in the last week and a half. In this case, the fundamental goal is to eliminate the strain on the clinics.”

Added Durbin: “I’m in favor of spending money promoting Gaughn’s and Darling’s. The walk-in clinic testing is definitely an issue.”

The commissioners will look to move on the testing issue quickly, Eggleston explained, with cases in Pennsylvania hitting their peak in January.