A COVID-19 testing company opened two new mobile testing sites, in Canonsburg and North Strabane, Monday.
Curative, a COVID-19 testing company founded last year, opened a mobile test site in the plaza parking lot across from the Canonsburg Borough building along Pike Street, and another in the Planet Fitness plaza along Route 19.
Curative’s local project manager, George Dodworth, said that while much of the focus lately has been on getting folks vaccinated, COVID-19 testing is still “an important piece in the toolbox.
“The more COVID is allowed to stay in the community and incubate, the more opportunity there is for another variant,” Dodworth said.
Dodworth started with Curative as a volunteer last year before being hired. He’s from Canonsburg and wanted to help get a mobile testing site there, so he worked with the borough’s mayor and council on finding the right place.
“We have an existing relationship with George,” Canonsburg Mayor Dave Rhome said. “We had been looking for something like Curative to set up a testing site.”
In the beginning of the pandemic, Dodworth said, tests weren’t very accessible. If people hadn’t recently traveled or weren’t exhibiting symptoms, they weren’t always able to take a test, Dodworth said.
“Today, it’s about community surveillance, and you don’t have to be sick or have symptoms,” he said.
“These are kind of like a little health card for the community, because now they have some data to go off of and a positivity rate to watch.”
The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are oral, which patients are able to perform themselves while under the direction and observation of a health care worker. The company then uses its own carriers to transport the tests to a lab in Washington, D.C. Patients typically receive results within 24 to 48 hours.
The sites are available 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and the tests are free.
Dodworth said they’re also ready to open a vaccine site in Canonsburg, at St. Patrick’s Church. They’ve already hired about 150 clinical staff to help run a vaccine clinic there, but they’re waiting for the state Department of Health to allocate the vaccine doses. Dodworth said they’d like to deliver between 1,200 and 1,500 vaccines per day there.
“I see the attention big cities get, and I want the same benefits for our town,” Dodworth wrote in a Facebook announcement of the new testing sites.