State awarding $30M to local health departments to open more testing sites

The Indiana State Department of Health plans to open 95 new COVID-19 testing sites in partnership with local health agencies by Oct. 1, officials announced Wednesday.

Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said the state is awarding $30 million in Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act funding to local health departments to open the additional testing facilities.

Box said 76 counties are participating in the program, and 35 new testing sites have already opened or will by the end of the week. The goal is to open the additional 95 sites by Oct. 1.

These sites will be in addition to the nearly 40 sites that OptumServe operates for the state.

Box said these sites should be able to conduct 100 to 200 tests per day and testing will be free. The money is expected to fund the sites for about two years.

“Eventually, the goal will be to run [the testing sites] through insurance companies because a lot of people are insured, but we will not be turning away anyone that is uninsured or does not have the ability to pay for a test,” Box said.

In the Indianapolis area, two doughnut counties are not participating—Boone and Morgan.

“The state department of health developed this program as a way to get creative and increase testing options for Hoosiers across our state,” Box said.

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