READING, Pa. - A free mobile COVID-19 testing site is taking over the FirstEnergy Stadium parking lot for the next five days. It's a coordinated effort through the Pennsylvania Department of Health to do a better job of providing coronavirus testing for those who may have limited resources.
"We're here to test whoever needs to be tested," said Dr. Jorge Simental, the physician in charge at the testing site.
Simental is with AMI Health, the group the state contracted with to do the testing. The process is simple. People drive up, provide ID and a little bit of information, then drive through and get swabbed for the virus.
"This is really a good opportunity for the community to get tested, you know, especially if they have been exposed," Simental said.
Berks County is one of the locations chosen by the state to have one of these testing sites set up based on recent COVID-19 numbers and need.
"It's a different kind of population," Simental said. "We see more immigrants, a lot of Hispanics here. We have been doing [testing in] English and Spanish."
He said COVID numbers in Berks County were up over the last few weeks and, on average, the prevalence of the virus lately has been at least 10%. He expected to test between 300-400 people on the first day.
"It's been pretty steady," Simental said. "When we opened, we had about 25 cars that were already waiting."
Results are expected in three to four days, possibly sooner, if positive, so officials can begin contact tracing.