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Indiana partners with health services innovation company to test every symptomatic Hoosier

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INDIANA (WPTA21) - The Indiana State Department of Health is making moves toward its goal of testing every single symptomatic Hoosier.

Standing in for Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristinia Box, who is dealing with a family emergency, Indiana Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver announced a partnership with a health services innovation company.

The ISDH partnered with OptumServe Health Services to expand COVID-19 testing in Indiana.

Starting next week, Optum will open 20 testing sites in Indiana National Guard armories across the state.

This new edition of testing will allow 100,000 people to be tested in the first 30 days.

Each site will be open for at least 8 hours a day, Monday-Friday.

Once all 50 sites are open, the state believes as many as 6,600 Hoosiers can be tested per day.

That's compared to the daily average tests that come in around 3,000 per day.

Dr. Weaver said no one will be charged for the testing, and having insurance is not a requirement.

However, she said if you do have private health care insurance, you're asked to bring that to the testing site.

Optum is providing its own supplies, PPE, testing kits, staffing and lab, which the state health department says will increase Indiana's overall testing capacity.

Optum will collect the swabs, manage the testing and report the data to the state.

The state says this ramp-up in testing will provide a more complete picture of the spread of the virus and high-risk communities.

Once all sites are open, the state expects to test up to 30,000 Hoosiers a week, in addition to the ongoing ISDH testing.

Indiana is the second state to use Optum testing.

Locations opening next week:

In northeast Indiana, OptumServe is opening up a testing site in Angola and Huntington.

Dr. Weaver said the State Health Department took into consideration locations that didn't have access to testing previously.

She also said they will continue to make decisions on the next wave of testings sites to go wherever it is needed the most.

Here's a list of locations opening up next week:

  • Angola
  • Columbus
  • Connersville
  • Danville
  • Elkhart
  • Elwood
  • Huntington
  • Jasper
  • Johnson County
  • Lafayette
  • LaPorte
  • Logansport
  • Muncie
  • Peru
  • Richmond
  • Scottsburg
  • South Bend
  • Terre Haute
  • Valparaiso
  • Vincennes

Who can get tested?

The State Health Department said they are testing any Hoosier who has COVID-19 symptoms like a fever, shortness of breath, cough, ect.

Additionally, Optum will be testing close contacts to infected persons.

Hoosiers can get tested without having to visit a health care provider.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box is issuing a standing order for the test for any Hoosier who meets criteria.

The State Department of Health will continue to target focused and high-risk populations.

How do I get tested?

Testing will be by appointment only. 

First, you'll need to go to the Optum portal and self-report your symptoms using the online screening tool.

Then, if you qualify, you'll need to register an appointment date and time.

Optum prefers Hoosiers to sign up using the online portal, but when available, they will also offer a call-in line option.

The registration portal will be open 48 hours before the testing site opens, Dr. Weaver said.

The state said more information will be released in the coming days.

How soon will the results come back?

Folks can expect to get the results within 48 hours on average.

Optum will send a text or email to the patient if the test is negative.

If you do test positive, you can expect a phone call.

Coronavirus resources

  • Click here for the latest CDC novel coronavirus resources and links.
  • Track the COVID-19 globally using this map tracker here.
  • You can view the latest Indiana COVID-19 numbers here.
  • Track Ohio's coronavirus numbers here.
  • Need to get tested? Click here to find a testing site near you.
  • You can catch up on the latest ABC21 coronavirus coverage here.
  • Sign up here for the latest local, state and national news regarding COVID-19.
  • Click here to sign up for ABC21 News and Weather Alerts

Kayla Crandall

Kayla Crandall is an Emmy award-winning journalist. She serves as the Social Media and Digital Content Manager at WPTA. Follow her on Twitter @KaylerJayne.

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