Strike teams administer surveillance testing in Lehigh Valley

Written by on January 7, 2021

Strike teams administer surveillance testing in Lehigh Valley

By Hayden Mitman

January 7, 2021

A coronavirus strike team is in the Lehigh Valley to help ramp up testing. Symptoms or not, anyone is invited to get a test. 

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According to the PA Department of Health, the Commonwealth ranks as the state with the 12th highest rate of new coronavirus infections of any state in the nation. 

To combat this, Michael Huff, director of Testing and Contact Tracing in Pennsylvania, says strike teams are deployed into hot spots throughout the state and are intended to help provide what Huff calls surveillance testing for the purpose of testing a wide segment of the community.

“Surveillance testing primarily is for patients who have no symptoms. We wouldn’t necessarily know they need testing. It helps me identify people that may have disease but do not have symptoms, so I can then isolate, quarantine and mitigate that disease so they won’t spread it to others,” he says.

Huff says up to 40% of people with coronavirus have no symptoms. 

“Even though the hope is that there will be a vaccine available for most people sometime this new year, the vaccine does not override the importance of testing to contain the virus and continuing to stop the spread,” he says.

Huff says to date more than 8 million coronavirus tests have been administered throughout Pennsylvania and that state’s temporary COVID testing strike team in Lehigh County is free and is available through Jan. 8 at Coca-Cola Park.

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