LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – This week, the Mayor’s Mobile Neighborhood Testing Program will continue at Byrider Auto and Eastland Bowling Lanes, and an additional site will be set up at First Baptist Church Bracktown, Mayor Linda Gorton said today.
“Due to increased turnout at the Byrider Auto and Eastland Bowling location on New Circle Road, we will continue our Mayor’s Mobile Testing Program at this location,” Gorton said. “In addition, we will have mobile testing available for one day this week at First Baptist Church of Bracktown. We appreciate the community partnerships that allow these testing sites to move forward.”
It is expected Lexington will surpass 10,000 total positive cases of COVID-19 this week. As of October 19, the Lexington Fayette County Health Department had reported 9,934 confirmed cases, and 87 deaths attributed to COVID-19.
Health professionals continue to stress the importance of keeping a 6-foot social distance, wearing a face mask, and washing hands repeatedly. Additionally, public health experts are asking everyone to get a flu shot this year.
The Mayor’s Mobile Neighborhood Testing Program provides public testing at no cost to the individual. Testing is available without an appointment, with both walk-up and drive-up options.
Testing at Byrider Auto and Eastland Bowling Lanes, 750 E. New Circle Road, is available from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.., Thursday, October 22, and Friday, October 23; and 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, October 24. The public should enter the testing site off Eastland Drive.
Testing at First Baptist Church Bracktown, 3016 Bracktown Road, is available from 9 a.m.-3 pm., Saturday, October 24.
The Bracktown site is part of community groups’ efforts to reach groups that have been particularly hard hit by the virus.
Black Male Working (BMW) Academy is hosting the event which is being sponsored by WellCare of Kentucky and Bluewater Diagnostic Laboratory.
Drive-through screenings will be available at no cost, including to those without health insurance. Results will be available approximately four days after testing.
“We are proud to offer COVID-19 screenings at no cost to our scholars and their families and the Fayette County community,” said Roszalyn M. Akins, executive director of BMW Academy. “Across the country, data shows COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting communities of color, and here in Kentucky, Fayette County is no exception.”
“The coronavirus has hit the Fayette County Community hard,” addd Bill Jones, Plan President and CEO of WellCare of Kentucky. “At WellCare, we have a commitment to helping our members and local communities during this challenging time, while ensuring underserved communities have access to the care and services they need to stay safe and healthy.”
“As states and businesses open back up, it’s critical that our local communities have access to convenient, affordable COVID-19 tests to help in the fight against the disease,” said Jennifer Bolus, Managing Partner, Bluewater Diagnostic Laboratory.
Across the country, data shows communities of color are being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. According to a recent study from APM Research Lab, Black Americans are dying from the virus at nearly three times the rate of White Americans.
In Kentucky, 8% of the state’s population is Black but accounts for 12% of all COVID-19 deaths. In Fayette County specifically, 9.3% of the population is Black, and according to state data, the county has the highest incidence of new COVID-19 cases and deaths compared to any other county in the commonwealth.
“We must do more to help Kentucky’s communities of color during this time,” said Jones. “Increased access to testing is a first step, but we must continue to find new and innovative ways to help address health disparities and social determinants of health impacting Kentucky residents.”
OTHER TEST SITES
There are additional free public testing locations across Lexington.
Drive-thru testing is available at Bluegrass Community and Technical College, 500 Newtown Pike, through Bluewater Diagnostic Laboratory. Testing is available, without appointment, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Free drive-thru testing also continues, through Bluewater, at Southland Christian Church, 2349 Richmond Road. Testing is available 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday. No appointment is necessary.
Bluewater, which also administers testing at Mayor’s Mobile Neighborhood Testing Program locations, is offering tests at no cost to the patient. Health insurance information may be requested, but is not required, to receive testing. Tests are available to anyone. Results are generally available in 48-72 hours.
Additionally, through a partnership with the University of Kentucky, UK HealthCare and Wild Health, testing is available to the public at 1505 College Way and 1350 Bull Lea Road. These sites are not intended for UK student testing. Free drive-thru testing is available from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., seven days a week. Appointments are required and can be made by visiting lexington.wildhealth.com.
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 while test kits are available. Online registration is required at walgreens.com/coronavirus.
Finally, most private healthcare providers are offering testing options for their patients. Urgent Care Centers are also offering COVID-19 testing.
For information on more testing sites go to: lexingtonky.gov/COVID-19.
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.