Drive-thru COVID-19 testing coming to Louisville, but some labs still backed up

It’s already available in Indiana, and now, drive-thru testing may be coming to Louisville as early as next week.
Updated: Mar. 25, 2020 at 11:37 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - It’s already available in Indiana, and now, drive-thru testing may be coming to Louisville as early as next week.

Even with more sites coming online, the reality is, testing resources are still limited.

“There are people that are walking around that have (the coronavirus), that don’t know they have it, or people that have been around people like nurses at the hospital, how many people are they seeing?”

Questions like this raced around 74-year-old Lois Rothgerber’s head for 11 days. That’s how long it took for her to learn she tested negative for COVID 19, but those were 11 days Lois spent worrying about her medically-vulnerable husband, and if his caregivers could come inside her home.

“Also, being at the hospital, the nurses that took care of me ... were waiting to see if they had been exposed,” she said.

Rothgerber was given the test at Norton Brownsboro on March 10, and it came back March 21. Norton officials said the delay is not on their end, but at the testing labs. They’re backed up. Some people have reported up to two weeks without results.

Dr. Sarah Moyer said finding that positive result is crucial.

“When we have a confirmed case, that’s when the health department team does the contact tracing, and finds out contacts, and that’s how we are going to stop the spread,” Moyer said. “The social distancing just helps slow the spread of the disease.”

In Kentucky, there is a state lab, university labs, like UofL, and private labs all processing tests.

UofL told WAVE 3 News there’s no backlog at its lab. Samples are run the same day, and results are given within 24 to 48 hours. That lab can perform 170 tests daily, and soon will be able to perform 340 tests daily.

UofL could be running a drive-thru location as soon as Monday. Drive-thru locations already have begun to pop up in Indiana. One is in Floyd County. But just like in Indiana, and all over the country, resources remain limited, much of which are being funneled toward states considered COVID 19 hotspots like New York. That’s why only people who fall under the CDC’s criteria will be tested: If you’re over 60, have chronic medical conditions or need hospitalization.

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