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Drive-thru COVID-19 testing limited in Indianapolis area

The latest on the coronavirus on March 30 on News 8 at 5 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — First responders and active health care workers can get a COVID-19 test in Indianapolis via a drive-thru at Eli Lilly & Co.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump said the government would be looking at adding drive-thru and walk-thru COVID-19 testing sites in states hit hardest by the virus.

On Monday, a representative of Indiana’s new joint information center told News 8, “Every state has experienced challenges getting testing supplies. ISDH (Indiana State Department of Health) has been working diligently to expand testing through partnerships with Eli Lilly and the addition of other labs. The number of tests reported to ISDH has increased tenfold in recent weeks. All drive-thru events have been run at the local level and are dependent on local resources.”

But several county health departments told News 8 on Monday that they don’t have plans to set up drive-thru COVID-19 testing.

“We do not,” said Claire Haughton, Boone County Health Department’s public health educator.

Betsy Swearingen, the administrator for the Johnson County Health Department, said it has no plans to set up drive-thru COVID-19 testing. Swearingen added that testing availability and test kit analysis is still low. Swearingen said she is hopeful if more tests and analysis become available, the department can test.

Tammy Sander, a spokesperson for Hamilton County, said, “There are currently no plans for a drive thru.”

Sander added the Hamilton County Health Department does not yet have COVID-19 test kits.

Crystal Baker, the public health preparedness coordinator with the Hancock County Health Department, said there are no plans for a drive-thru COVID-19 test site. “But the hospital, Hancock Regional Hospital, has a COVID-19 triage clinic set up for people who have COVID-19 symptoms.”

Marilee Evans, Shelby County Health Department nurse director, said there are “no plans” for a drive-thru, but “if the state or federal government asks us to, it’s possible.”

Curt Brantingham, the media/public information coordinator for the Marion County Public Health Department, said, “The health department is exploring the possibility of providing drive-thru testing, but there is nothing to announce at this time.”

Steve Lyday, Morgan County Health Department Public Health preparedness and response coordinator, said there are no plans for a drive-thru COVID-19 test site. Lyday added his department does not have test kits.

Jeff Corder, the public health preparedness coordinator for the Hendricks County Health Department, said it is planning for drive-thru COVID-19 testing, but it has no test kits or guidance yet.