Drive-through COVID-19 testing coming to Pike County

Qualifying patients needing testing for the novel coronavirus will have the opportunity to get a drive-through test next week in Pike County.

During his daily media briefing on Thursday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that through the state’s ongoing partnership with Kroger food stores and Gravity Diagnostics, a drive-through testing clinic will operate in Pikeville beginning April 21 and running through April 23. The initiative is part of the establishment of four drive-through testing facilities statewide. The other drive-through testing clinics will operate in Paducah, Madisonville and Somerset.

Pike County Emergency Management Director Doug Tackett tells Mountain Top News that the Pikeville location will actually be set up at Shelby Valley High School near Robinson Creek, south of Pikeville on U.S. 23.

Beshear said with the increase in testing, there will likely be a corresponding increase in positive cases of COVID-19.

“What we will expect to see are more cases, and we ought to be ready for that, we know they’re out there,” Beshear said. “But as we build up this capacity, it’s certainly going to help us as we move into what the new normal will be, certainly in the country, until we get a vaccine.”

Meggen Brown, the national clinical director for Kroger’s Little Clinic, said nurse practitioners will be on-site during the four testing events. She said the tests will be self-administered nasal swabs that must be ordered by a provider.

“Kroger has determined that this testing methodology has been (efficient), as it increases the number of tests that can be performed as well as conserving the amount of personal protective equipment that is utilized,” she said.

Pike Emergency Management Director Doug Tackett tells Mountain Top News that the Shelby Valley site will allow for a dedicated entrance and exit. Tackett said patients will enter the site through the intersection of Wildcat Drive near the Shelby Valley baseball and football fields. They will then pass through the appropriate tents for testing.

Patients will then exit the area through Douglas Parkway, passing by Shelby Valley High School and entering U.S. 23 near the Shelby Valley Volunteer Fire Department Station No. 1, Tackett said.

Brown said she hopes more than 300 patients will be tested each of the three days of the event, for a total of approximately 1,000 total tests administered. Testing will be conducted beginning at 8:30 a.m. each day and tests will be conducted through 5:30 p.m. each day. Tests will be administered to patients who qualify based upon the Priority 1, 2 and 3 guidelines from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Those wishing to be tested must register at Testing is open to patients in any neighboring county to Pike County, Beshear said.

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Source: Mountain Top