LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A COVID-19 mass testing site hosted at Churchill Downs is expected to open on Monday.
The opening date is approaching because the demand for testing is increasing.
Kentucky broke its record for new COVID-19 cases in a single day on Friday, surpassing 11,000 new cases.
“Testing is important in being able to reach these people and provide them with certainty of a test result,” said Dr. Sarah Beth Hartlage, associate medical director of the Department of Public Health and Welfare at Louisville Metro.
The health department said the site would be aimed at anyone who wants to get tested, including those who are planning to travel or who have mild symptoms. It’s an effort to alleviate the crisis that healthcare providers are seeing from people wanting a COVID-19 test and to reduce long lines.
âThe increasing number of patients, the shortage of nurses and all of these other factors have combined to make this a valuable resource for those who need it,â Hartlage said. “That way, if people don’t need this resource, if we can direct them elsewhere, it can be of great help.”
Mayor Greg Fischer announced the opening of the site on Thursday. He said the omicron variant of the virus is putting “immense” pressure on the hospital system and that “if we don’t make accommodations it will be worse.”
âOur rate of positivity in the region is higher than it has ever been,â Hartlage said on Friday. âThis morning we passed 30% positivity for the very first time. This means that almost one in three ongoing COVID tests come back positive.â
The city is partnering with Bluewater Diagnostics to open COVID testing to the public at the racetrack starting January 10. The Six-Way Testing Clinic will run Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Orange Lot of Churchill Downs.
Bluewater Diagnostics said it was seeing demand for people looking for a test. The lab is now processing almost double the number of tests it was before the holidays.
âAs the holidays rolled around we were kind of expecting an increase in testing, which we saw around 1,500 to 2,000 samples. Then after the holidays it continued to increase,â Alonzo Shepherd said. from Bluewater Diagnostics. âLast week we had 3,800 samples one day, so we’re pretty much the same number we saw in the last holiday season.â
Pre-registration will be required to be tested on the Churchill Downs site. You will need a government-issued ID and an insurance card, if you have one. Rapid tests and PCR will be available. Results should be expected within 48 to 72 hours.
The test site will maintain a dedicated line for testing public security employees. Fischer said that “it will make it easier for them to be safe and for their jobs.”
To register for a COVID test, go to my.primary.health/l/churchilldowns.
The city is working to set up a second test site in western Louisville. An announcement is expected shortly.
COVID-19 testing remains in high demand as people return to work and school, and with this high demand, testing sites need to adapt.
Louisville Metro’s COVID dashboard includes information on additional vaccine and testing sites. To learn more, Click here.
Outside of Louisville, the Kentucky COVID Dashboard includes information for finding test sites.
The Kentucky site too includes links to find a site to get vaccinated against COVID.
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