A coronavirus drive-thru testing facility is set to open next Tuesday for testing according to Dustin Heiser, director of the Madison County Emergency Management.
According to Heiser, the site, done in partnership with Kroger, will be held in the Stratton Parking lot of the Eastern Kentucky University campus, and is free and available for anyone to get a test.
“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.
This announcement comes just one day following the announcement made by the governor of four new drive-thru sites -- including the Richmond location -- as well as Mayfield, Louisville and Hartford.
“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.
And local officials are excited, Heiser confirmed.
“Us, and Judge(/Executive) Taylor and (Richmond) Mayor (Robert) Blythe and 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 they wanted a testing site to be here, according to Heiser.
“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 reports, and will be staffed by clinicians through the Kroger Little Clinic, 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 says 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.”
Judge Taylor agreed.
“Increased testing that is free and open to the public ensures we do not have barriers to access for Madison Countians wanting and needing to be tested for COVID-19,” Taylor said. “As we begin to re-open in many sectors, such testing greatly assists in reducing the spread of the disease.”
Drive-thru testing will begin Tuesday, May 19, at 4440 Kit Carson Drive in Richmond. The testing is free, and open to the public.
There are no new cases of the coronavirus being reported for Madison County as of Thursday afternoon. The total remains at 36 cases in the county according to the health department, 29 are said to be recovered.
Other 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 859-625-3290.
• 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.