Sen. Yaw: PA Senate Hearing Prompts Department of Health to Reverse Course on COVID-19 Testing

HARRISBURG – After a state Senate hearing last week highlighted inadequacies in COVID-19 testing in long-term care facilities, the Wolf Administration has reversed course and announced today that they will begin widespread testing of residents and employees, according to state Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23).

Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Rachel Levine said during the hearing that the administration would continue to “think” about testing more patients in long-term care communities, while surrounding states have already ordered testing for all residents and staff of its long-term care facilities.  Levine noted that she would take the idea of expanded testing back to her team. Additionally, she said the department has been limited in testing because of a lack of supplies and issues with the federal government.

However, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on April 29 that commercial laboratories, which have done more than 2.6 million COVID-19 tests, have excess capacity to meet rising demand.

The Department will now work with commercial laboratories to ensure universal testing for staff and residents within long-term care settings.

For more state-related news and information, visit Senator Yaw’s website at or on Facebook and Twitter @SenatorGeneYaw.


Rita Zielonis, Chief of Staff

(717) 787-3280