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State to ramp up testing of possible COVID-19 patients

Free public testing to begin next week at 20 sites
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Posted at 3:58 PM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 19:00:14-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- President Donald Trump is leaving it up to individual states to test residents for COVID-19. Indiana responded Tuesday with a bold plan to do just that.

Starting next week, 20 Covid-19 testing sites will open in national guard armories around the state, and by mid-May, there will be 50 sites, according to Dr. Lindsay Weaver, Chief Medical Officer of the Indiana Department of Health.

Weaver outlined plans for the testing sites at a Tuesday press briefing. "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," said Dr. Weaver.

The company OptumServe Health Services will actually handle the testing. “Launching this partnership with Optum further expands Indiana’s COVID-19 testing capacity,” said Governor Eric Holcomb.

“These free tests will be available in locations across the state, ensuring even more Hoosiers who have symptoms or an affected family member can get tested for coronavirus.”

Testing will be by appointment only. Registration will open 48-hours before testing sites open. To sign up for an appointment, Hoosiers will register through the Optum portal that will launch soon and self-report symptoms using an online screening tool. A hotline phone number will be added soon.

Test results should be ready in 48-hours. Each site will be open 8-hours per-day, Monday-Friday. These tests do not replace ones the state is already doing. "This will allow the Indiana Department of Health to focus on target testing of high-risk populations," said Dr. Weaver.

While the tests are free, people with health insurance are asked to bring their insurance cards.

Dr. Weaver outlined he symptoms a person should have in order to be tested. They include:

  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Cold
  • Headaches
  • Fever