Pa. flunks on watchdog group’s COVID-19 testing report card | The Numbers Racket

By: - February 22, 2021 7:55 am

NUTLEY, NJ – FEBRUARY 28: A researcher works in a lab that is developing testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus at Hackensack Meridian Health Center for Discovery and Innovation on February 28, 2020 in Nutley, New Jersey. The facility develops novel therapies for some of the worlds most difficult diseases. At least 53 countries have reported cases of infection. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

In the ongoing fight against COVID-19, testing is half the battle. 

Pennsylvania needs to increase its COVID-19 testing by 15 times it’s current rate to effectively combat COVID-19, PennPIRG, an independent public interest research group found. 

According to the scorecard, the Keystone state earned an F grade for being 22.2 percent toward its testing target. 

PennPIRG did note that while Pennsylvania earned a failing grade, the state made progress, increasing its testing goal from 10.5 percent to 22.2 percent.

The scorecard noted that at the time of the review in late January, Pennsylvania was administering 433 tests per 100,000 people as compared to a goal of administering 1,951 tests per 100,000 people. 

Currently, just eight states and Washington D.C. are close to or exceeding their state’s testing goals, according to the Brown School of Public Health and the Harvard Global Health Institute. 

Those states include: 

  • Connecticut 
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts 
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • New York

The news of Pennsylvania’s failing grade comes as the state Department of Health reports more than 9 million tests to date.

Daily COVID-19 testing peaked in early December at more than 79,000 polymerase chain reactions, or PCR test results reported per day. 

Since then, the number of daily tests has fallen, ranging between 26,000 and 70,000 daily PCR test results, according to state Health Department data. 

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.