Governor Eric Holcomb announced Tuesday that starting the first week of May, Indiana would begin to roll out free COVID-19 testing sites around the state.
He shared the news during one of his daily press conferences to update Hoosiers on what steps they are taking to lower the number of people who come into contact with the virus.
Chief Medical Officer for the Indiana State Department of Health, Dr. Lindsay Weaver, went through a PowerPoint showing updated statistics, and talked through the process of the testing sites. These sites will be launched by OptumServe, who are a “leading health services innovation company” and will spread across the state in counties and cities that need them most. Muncie is one of the 20 planned locations. There is a plan to expand this to 50 sites by the middle of May.
“This will give us an opportunity to do nearly 100,000 tests a month, initially, and test 30,000 Hoosiers a week, when all sites are open,” Weaver said.
The sites will be open at Indiana National Guard armories within the next seven days, and the state hopes all 50 sites will be open within the next 14 days.
They will be open at least eight hours, Monday through Friday, and according to their calculations, as many as 6,600 Hoosiers can be tested per day.
Those Hoosiers that wish to be tested have to show symptoms, have been in close contact of infected people, or those symptomatic Hoosiers that are living in congregate settings (homeless shelters, prisons, group homes, etc.).
Tammy Rhoad is a Registration Specialist at Riley Physicians Pediatrics, which opened in December of 2019 in Muncie. She also happens to be my mother, and has kept a close eye on the Covid situation, to protect herself and others.
“Since I am considered an essential worker, we have to take many precautions for our safety and the patient’s safety,” Rhoad said. “If I were to be exposed to someone with it, I would have to get tested to be sure I was safe to continue working.”
Hoosiers who wish to be tested can register online or can call in to make an appointment. If test results come back positive, Optum will call you; and if it is negative, Optum will send a text or email.
There was a spike in the number of infected Hoosiers, with 650 new positive cases, which included 146 employees of a Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Logansport, Indiana.
There will be more details regarding the testing sites and the stay-at-home order later this week.