A day following the announcement of a coronavirus drive-thru testing facility being open in Madison County, residents have already begun to make appointments to get tested.
The opening was announced Thursday by Dustin Heiser, director of Madison County Emergency Management, following the governor's announcement to bring a drive-thru site to Richmond. It's expected to be open Tuesday.
According to Heiser, the site, done in partnership with the Kroger Little Clinic, will be in the Stratton Parking lot of Eastern Kentucky University's campus, 4440 Kit Carson Drive. Testing is available and free for anyone who wants to be tested. However, appointments are required.
“This testing is free and open to anyone, and there is no insurance required,” Heiser told The Register. “If you have insurance, there is no charge to it, and you don’t have to have insurance to get it done. Also, you do not have to have symptoms to be tested there.”
The testing materials and sites are funded by the commonwealth.
Those interested in being tested can schedule appointments through the Little Clinic site online or over the phone. Patients will pick a time to arrive at the Stratton Building parking lot.
While waiting for their appointment time, participants are encouraged to set up their Patient Portal access site, which will link to an individual's email to get results immediately after they are submitted.
Upon arrival to the drive-thru testing site, individuals are required to bring identification that will be reviewed at check-in. Afterward, a clinician will administer a viral test swab at the vehicle.
Patients will be able to view the results immediately once they are submitted from the lab. The Madison County Health Department is equipped to follow up on contact tracing to find others who may have been exposed.
“We have talked to local leaders. They’re excited in each of these areas, and we want to get these people tested,” Gov. Andy Beshear said during his Wednesday briefing.
And local officials are excited, Heiser confirmed.
“Us, and Judge(/Executive Reagan) Taylor and (Richmond) Mayor (Robert) Blythe and (Berea) Mayor (Bruce) Fraley are happy to have the testing here, and it is something we all understand needs to be done,” the director said.
The drive-thru site was brought to Richmond after Kentucky Emergency Management communicated to the county it wanted a testing site here, Heiser explained.
“We told them we were happy to help, and we are working with them and the university to organize the facility, and it has really been great,” he said.
The location was picked by the state, Heiser reported, and will be staffed by Kroger Little Clinic technicians, National Guard, Kentucky State Police and EKU police.
The drive-thru site will be open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Heiser said this is per guidance given by the governor, but that, depending on the demand for testing, the number of days could increase or decrease.
“Hopefully we have an outpouring of people who want to be tested,” he said.
When asked if he thought the numbers of known cases would rise because of increased testing, Heiser said it was definitely a possibility.
“Anytime you are looking for something, you are going to find something,” he said. “We could see an increased number, but it also allows us to identify those people to separate from others. The health department will then do contract tracing and allows us to get them into isolation and make them aware.
"Our numbers may go up, but it identifies and allows us to put restraints on it.”
To make an appointment, visit bit.ly/2TbCKRY or call 1-888-852-2567 (option 3).
One new case of the coronavirus was reported for Madison County Friday afternoon. The total remains at 37 cases in the county according to the health department, and 32 are said to be recovered.
Other Richmond testing sites
• Family Healthcare Clinic, 1012 Center Drive, Richmond. Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Contact 859-626-9696.
• Madison Family Clinic, 2161 Lexington Road, Suite 5, Richmond. Contact 859-626-7794.
• Richmond Family Medicine, Jason Drive, Suite 9, Richmond. Contact 859-575-4075.
• White House Clinic, 401 Highland Park Drive, Richmond. Open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday's hours are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Contact 859-626-7700.
• Central Kentucky Urgent Care, 103 Keystone Drive, Richmond. Open Sunday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Contact 859-353-8884.
• Baptist Health Urgent Care, 648 University Shopping Center, Richmond. Contact 859-623-1950.
• Baptist Health Richmond Emergency Room. Contact 859-623-3131.
Berea testing sites
• Berea Urgent Care, 234 Brentwood St., Berea. Open Saturday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Contact 859-985-0302.
• White House Clinic, 104 Legacy Drive, Berea. Contact 859-986-2323.
• Berea Primary Care, 305 Estill St., Berea. Contact 859-985-1415.
• Medical Laser Rural Family Practice, 133 Plaza Drive, Suite 3, Berea. Contact 859-986-1370.
• Saint Joseph Berea Hospital Emergency Room, 305 Estill St., Berea.