LANCASTER – As part of Lancaster County’s comprehensive plan to reopen safely during COVID-19, new testing and contact tracing initiatives are underway to protect the health and safety of community residents, according to local Senators Ryan Aument and Scott Martin. As part of an agreement between the county and Lancaster General Hospital that was formalized this week, contact tracing will be available for an average of 50 new COVID-19 cases per day. In addition, COVID-19 testing services will be available for up to 1,000 individuals per day initially at mobile testing facilities throughout the county. Testing capacity is expected to increase in the weeks ahead as supply chain pressures ease. Additional provisions will ensure expanded testing at nursing homes, which have been hit hardest during COVID-19. Other parts of the reopening plan for Lancaster County include the procurement and distribution of Personal Protective Equipment supplies and the creation of a COVID-19 Relief Fund to help businesses recover from the economic damage the virus has caused and adjust to operating in a way that is safe for employees and the public. The testing and contract tracing programs were developed by local elected officials in consultation with representatives of the region’s major health systems. The new resources would not have been available to local communities under the governor’s reopening plan because he has not yet moved Lancaster County from the red phase to the yellow phase of reopening. “This is another example of Lancaster County leading the way in protecting its citizens against both the direct and indirect consequences of COVID-19,” Aument said. “The collaborative approach of local leaders in government, industry and health care is already yielding positive results and helping our local communities begin to recover from the tremendous challenges this disease has posed. We know that many of our local businesses can operate safely if they are given the chance to do so, and I am proud of all the work that has gone into ensuring these employers can have that opportunity very soon,” Martin said “It is extremely encouraging to see local leaders coming together and working on the commonsense solutions that have been sorely lacking from the state.” You can read more about the comprehensive plan at www.senatoraument.com.