LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - In Kentucky, more than 2 million people have been tested for COVID-19 since March and that number keeps rising.
In Louisville, testing sites are starting to see more people come in for testing, especially in the last three weeks. Thursday morning, a steady line of cars from the morning into the afternoon lined up for COVID-19 testing at Southeast Christian Church.
The Bluewater Diagnostic Labs COVID-19 testing site doesn’t require an appointment.
“I was fine [waiting in my car],” Melissa Posey Hayes said after waiting nearly two hours to make it through the line."Just listening to different ministries and meditating and just praying for the country."
Posey Hayes said this wasn’t her first time having to get a test, but it was her first time at this location.
“I don’t like [the test] at all,” Posey Hayes said. “I’m very uncomfortable. But to keep everyone safe and my family, I just choose to [get tested] if I have to.”
Most people leaving the site on Thursday told WAVE 3 News they waited nearly two hours to get the swab test.
Candace Soward said this was her second time getting tested at the site at Southeast Christian Church.
“Last time they were fast and efficient and again today they were,” Soward said. “Of course there are the sweet spots of the day to come. During your lunch break, you’ll probably have to wait longer or first thing in the morning.”
She said she’s grateful for the site near her home.
“I appreciate the things they are doing to keep everyone safe,” Soward said.
Bluewater Diagnostic Labs said this site has been busy all week.
“We are seeing a dramatic increase in our testing here,” Bluewater Diagnostic Labs Director of Marketing Dina English said. “As of last night, we had over 600 tests done in one day.”
Lab Director Dr. Erik Korte said the increase in COVID-19 cases close to cold and flu season is disturbing, too. In a statement, he told WAVE 3 News, “Allergies frequently mask symptoms of mild COVID-19 and can be easily confused, allowing people who are positive and symptomatic to spread the disease. In addition, as cold and flu season starts there will be other diseases that cause similar symptoms to COVID-19 that were not present in the summer.”
Korte stressed the importance of getting tested.
On Thursday morning around 9:30 a.m., the line of cars stretched just outside of the parking lot into the road. Managing Partner Jennifer Bolus said with the recent uptick in cases and the holidays coming around, the testing traffic makes sense.
“No I’m not surprised at all,” Bolus said. “The positivity rate has drastically increased and people are scared. That’s why you’re seeing a line at 9:30 in the morning almost out to the street.”
That’s not the only location with high testing numbers. UofL Health said in the last few weeks, they have administered more tests, too. From Oct. 15- Oct 21, they administered 1,664 tests at their free drive-thru Community COVID19 Testing sites. From Oct. 22-Oct. 28, they administered 1,764 tests. From Oct. 29-Nov. 5, there were 2,022 tests administered.
Norton Healthcare said since April when they opened drive-thru testing, they have had a fairly steady increase in the number of tests administered. Norton tests roughly 600 people per day and said the demand is increasing. At Norton Healthcare Respiratory Illness Testing Centers, they have tested 53, 406 patients, since April, and 64,989 tests have been administered. Some patients there have been tested more than once.
As winter approaches, health officials are fearing a dangerous winter with COVID-19. Bolus said she wants to urge people to stay cautious.
“If you’ve had an exposure get tested. If you have symptoms, get tested. But most importantly stay home, minimize interactions so we can reduce the spread of this virus.”
To see locations for Bluewater Diagnostics Testing Sites in Jefferson, Oldham, and Bullitt counties, click here.
UofL Health has three locations for free COVID-19 tests. To see and sign up for a testing appointment with UofL Health, click here.
Norton Healthcare has two COVID-19 testing sites. To sign up for an appointment, click here.