INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — As America races to accelerate testing for COVID-19, Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly is now opening up their own labs to test coronavirus samples from healthcare facilities across Indiana.
“Lillly is bringing the full force of our scientific and medical expertise to attack the coronavirus pandemic around the world,” said David Ricks, Eli Lilly chairman and CEO.
The move gives the state a big boost. As of March 18, fewer than 200 tests have been given in Indiana. Lilly says within a week, their labs will be able to analyze 1,000 to 2,000 tests every day.
“We are definitely much better positioned than we have been in the last several weeks to be able to address this pandemic,” said Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box.
The samples would still be taken at healthcare facilities like nursing homes and emergency rooms, then brought to Lilly’s labs. Lilly is also working on opening their own drive-thru testing, limiting the burden on hospitals and ISDH.
“We can finally turn this back over to our very astute and highly effective clinicians so they can use their best clinical judgement about who needs to be tested,” Box said.
Even with the increase, Box still says not everyone needs to be tested. Those with mild symptoms or low risk should still self-isolate, stay at home and practice social distancing.
“We’re all trying to strike the right balance here,” Box said. “To make sure we’re testing the right population and make sure that we can accurately test those that need to be tested.”
Lilly says each test result would be available same day or overnight. They also say they are doing the testing for free, at no cost to hospitals, patients or taxpayers.
Watch this video of an Indianapolis nurse practitioner getting tested in real-time (Courtesy of “5 Minutes or Less Tutorials”):