Pennsylvania Commonwealth microbiologist Karen Zimmerman, prepares a master mix for PCR inside the extraction lab at the Pennsylvania Department of Health Bureau of Laboratories on Friday, March 6, 2020.
Brett Sholtis is WITF’s Transforming Health reporter, covering health policy and community health issues that affect Pennsylvanians. Brett strives to share personal stories that have a tie to broad issues and emerging trends. He seeks to give voice to diverse viewpoints, including those of people living with mental illness, disability and those living in poverty. He plays a key role in WITF’s mental health series, Through the Cracks, which reports on problem areas in mental health services and efforts to reduce stigma around those living with behavioral disorders. Previously, Brett was a business reporter at the York Daily Record, where his work included award-winning examinations of the nuclear power industry and food safety. He is a University of Pittsburgh graduate and a Pennsylvania Army National Guard veteran.
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The number of positive tests is growing. For example, on Friday, there were only two cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. The Health Department is updating the testing data on its website.
The results come as the federal government and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention face criticism for botching early testing and for the possibility that they are not performing enough tests.
The state has the capacity to perform about 100 tests per day, Levine said. Additionally, medical testing companies such as LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics now are able to provide tests. Those companies will report any positive results to the state and those results will be made public.
“We will meet the demand for testing, and we’re following the guidelines to do that,” Levine said.