covid-19 test kits

Photo by Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA News

 


On today's program: The Pittsburgh Art Commission will consider the fate of the Christopher Columbus statue in Schenley Park; the Delta Foundation, which has organized Pittsburgh Pride since 2007, plans to dissolve; and access to COVID-19 tests and results are still an issue.

KATIE BLACKLEY / 90.5 WESA

In early July, Talia Landerman decided to get a coronavirus test.  

This was when Allegheny County was reporting nearly 200 cases of COVID-19 daily. Landerman works in an office and both her parents are over 60, so she wanted to be sure she wasn't an asymptomatic carrier. 

Google Maps

Nursing home employees may soon be required to have weekly coronavirus tests according to a press release from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

Earlier this summer the Allegheny County Health Department recommended that people who were returning from out-of-state travel should quarantine for two weeks, unless they could get two consecutive coronavirus tests that were both negative. 

Universal Testing Complete At PA Nursing Homes

Jul 28, 2020
Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Health Secretary Rachel Levine said Thursday that all skilled nursing facilities have now complied with a state order to test all staff and residents for COVID-19. 

Sarah Boden

Due to the recent spike in coronavirus infections, the Allegheny County Health Department on Wednesday announced it has changed its recommendations for testing in order to meet demand.

Wayne Parry / AP

UPMC is telling its employees that they do not need to quarantine for 14 days after out-of-state travel. 

 

This guidance differs from the quarantine recommendation that the Allegheny County Health Department made on Sunday, after a week of particularly high case counts. But on Wednesday, the county itself has taken steps to clarify some of its recommendations – and health department director Dr. Debra Bogen called UPMC’s guidance a “clear and thoughtful” interpretation of county policy.

 

Matt Rourke / AP

Allegheny County reported Monday that another 83 residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. These new cases comprise nearly 17 percent of all cases reported in Pennsylvania on Monday.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t still contracting the coronavirus.

MATT ROURKE / AP

Black deaths from COVID-19 are higher than white deaths due in part to institutional racism and social impediments, such as poverty. The Pittsburgh-based Black COVID-19 Equity Coalition is a group of public health researchers, businesspeople and elected officials working to address those factors as a way to secure better health and economic outcomes for the black community during the pandemic.

UPMC

Pennsylvania's largest medical system said Thursday that its inpatient volume has nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels. Though certain areas of care at UPMC, like cancer treatment, are still not back to normal.  

U.S. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL & PREVENTION

On Friday afternoon, the state of Pennsylvania began reporting how many of its diagnosed COVID-19 cases were discovered through viral testing, and how many were discovered by antibody tests.

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s Department of Health confirmed reporting by The Atlantic magazine, that the state includes results of both viral and antibody tests in its total number of novel coronavirus cases.

KATIE BLACKLEY / 90.5 WESA

Availability of novel coronavirus testing in Allegheny County has significantly expanded since mid-March. Though some public health experts, activists and elected officials say many residents still lack access.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

North Side Christian Health Center has set up a testing site for the coronavirus in the parking lot of its Deutschtown location. It's one of seven federally qualified health centers in Allegheny County that will now provide the service.

GOOGLE MAPS

Of the 352 COVID-19 cases reported between April 20 and May 5, more than one-third can be attributed to residents of long-term care facilities, according data on infections among its high-risk populations released by Allegheny County Wednesday.

Allegheny County

State and county officials have started to discuss relaxing social distancing mandates, though the head of the Allegheny County Health Department says there are still many unknowns.

Google Maps

Administrators of Allegheny County-owned nursing homes say there is no way to know exactly how COVID-19 spread to roughly one quarter of the residents at its Glen Hazel facility.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny Health Network began assembling COVID-19 test kits in its downtown Highmark Health Penn Avenue Place building this week. Dozens of tables with medical staffers lined the auditorium of the building filled with sterile media tubes, swabs, instructions, and biohazard bags.