UPDATE: Mobile coronavirus testing busy in Lexington’s East End

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UPDATE, 5 p.m., JULY 10, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Two days of mobile testing in Lexington’s East End have been busy with a third day still to come Saturday.

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Bluewave Diagnostics Labs, the group administering the tests, says it wants testing to be simple and accessible.

“Not everybody has the ability to go to a Walgreens or go somewhere else that’s outside of their community so by bringing it to the community everybody seems very excited about the opportunity to test,” says Bobby Sturgeon, a partner at Bluewave Labs.

Lexington’s East End is home to mainly Black and Hispanic communities, which are the demographics the CDC reports has been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus.

Melissa McCarty, director of ambulatory services at Bluewave Labs, says several factors play into this.

“A lot of that comes from they don’t know where to get testing or they’re afraid to get tested because it’s a loss of income if they’re positive,” McCarty says.

Prioritizing health or a paycheck is sometimes a fork in the road for minorities.

McCarthy also says there is sometimes a language barrier. At Shiloh Baptist Church, Bluewave Labs has a translator on hand.

Though testing is the goal, McCarthy says it’s also an educational moment and a moment she’s hoping to connect with people in the community.

“I would encourage everybody to come out and get tested,” McCarty says. “We brought the testing to your community. You don’t have to come find us we came to you.”

There will be testing at the church again Saturday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and again next weekend.

ORIGINAL STORY

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lexington’s mobile neighborhood testing program designed to get coronavirus testing into under-served communities is moving into East End of downtown.

Mayor Linda Gorton said the free drive-up or walk-up testing program offers increased access to testing in areas where there have been a disproportionate increase in cases.

Starting this Thursday, July 9, Bluewater Diagnostic Laboratory will provide free tests at Shiloh Baptist Church, in the City’s east end. There is no cost to the patient.

Health insurance information may be requested, but is not required to receive testing. No appointment is necessary. Tests are available to anyone.

“Thanks to our collaboration with Bluewater Diagnostic Laboratory, we are able to bring the Mobile Neighborhood Testing Program to several areas of our City. These testing locations will allow both walk-up and drive-up testing, at no cost to the community,” Gorton said.

Bluewater can process up to 1,000 tests a day.

“As we’ve seen, African-American and Hispanic residents in Lexington continue to be disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Lexington,” said Lexington-Fayette County Commissioner of Health Dr. Kraig Humbaugh. “Testing at Shiloh Baptist Church helps make testing more available to these communities by being more convenient to where they live and work.”

The testing would not be possible without the assistance of Shiloh Baptist Church.

“We are honored to serve as a host location in the East End for COVID-19 testing,” Pastor Dr. Joseph Owens said.

Testing at Shiloh, 237 East Fifth St., will take place from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Thursday, July 9; 2-8 p.m. on Friday, July 10; and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, July 11.

Face masks and hand sanitizer will be provided to those being tested. On-site translation services will be available.

Drive-thru testing is also available seven days a week at the Walgreen’s testing location at 2296 Executive Drive (the corner of Winchester Road and Executive Drive). Tests will continue until they run out of test kits. Online registration is recommended, but not required, at walgreens.com/coronavirus.

In addition, drive-thru testing is available, at least through July, at the Kroger Health testing site at Bluegrass Community & Technical College Newtown Campus.

The testing entrance is located off Loudon Avenue near the intersection with Newtown Pike. Testing is available by appointment, which can be secured by visiting thelittleclinic.com/drivethru-testing. Appointments are available Monday through Friday.

Bluewater Diagnostic Laboratory has been recognized by the state of Kentucky for expanding the state’s COVID-19 testing capacity. Based in Mount Washington, KY, they are committed to be an industry leader in cutting-edge instrumentation and testing methodologies.