Pa. launches new COVID testing site in Lehigh Valley as cases continue to rise

Free COVID-19 testing in Northampton County

Derek Staggs, of Easton, gets a free COVID-19 test in December. Pennsylvania has opened a free testing clinic at Lehigh Carbon Community College. Another test site is already going at Paxinosa Elementary School in Easton. The sites are both temporary, running through next week.Saed Hindash | For lehighvalleylive.com

Pennsylvania has opened another COVID-19 testing center in the Lehigh Valley as cases of the pandemic coronavirus rise once again.

The newest free center at Lehigh Carbon Community College in Schnecksville opened Tuesday and can test up to 450 people a day, the state health department announced.

The LCCC testing center is open for walk-ins and drive-through from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday until Aug. 13.

The same operator, AMI Expeditionary Healthcare, which has worked with the state on other COVID-19 testing initiatives, also has an ongoing testing center in Northampton County. That one at Paxinosa Elementary School in Easton is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Thursday through Aug. 12.

Public health officials are urging anyone who wants a test to get one, especially anyone who thinks they may have been exposed to COVID-19, even if they are vaccinated or have no symptoms.

With the more contagious Delta variant, the health department is reporting a widespread rise in cases. On Tuesday, Pennsylvania had more than 1,000 new cases a day over the last week for the first time since May.

The CDC this week again recommended wearing masks indoors in Northampton County, regardless of vaccination status, because of the substantial rate of transmission there.

Pa. weekly COVID update: Cases continue to climb as Delta runs rampant, Northampton County is a hotspot

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Steve Novak may be reached at snovak@lehighvalleylive.com.