State partners with health company to provide free large-scale testing

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Indiana is ramping up its testing efforts as the COVID-19 task force looks to Friday for an update on re-opening the state.

Governor Eric Holcomb was joined by other state officials Tuesday afternoon to deliver the update.

As a part of the state’s plan to re-open the state, it is partnering with IUPUI to conduct a scientific study to determine the spread of COVID-19 in Indiana. As a part of this study, the state is testing 5,000 Hoosiers for free.

Those identified to participate in the study will receive a postcard from the state. Once they respond, they will receive a free test. To date, 3,774 people have registered to participate in the study.

To help people know what to look for, the taskforce shared examples of the text or postcard that it is sending out.

Other than the scientific testing, the task force announced a partnership with OptumServe Health Services to begin large-scale free testing. This is the second state to add Optum testing.

In the first 30 days, the task force expects 100,000 Hoosiers will be tested. The testing is for any symptomatic Hoosier, close contacts of positive cases, or residents of congregate living settings.

“Launching this partnership with Optum further expands Indiana’s COVID-19 testing capacity,” said Gov. Holcomb. “These free tests will be available in locations across the state, ensuring even more Hoosiers who have symptoms or an affected family member can get tested for coronavirus.”

20 testing sites will open up in the next week in Indiana National Guard armories. An additional 30 testing sites will open in the next two weeks.

The Governor’s office says people will get results within 48 hours on average. Those with a negaive result will recieve a text or email. Those with a positive test will recieve a phone call.

Testing will be available for at least 8 hours a day, Monday through Friday with an appointment. To register, people can visit the Optum portal. Information about the website address and hotline will be coming soon.

“We have been working diligently to increase access to testing throughout Indiana with drive-thru clinics and strike teams,” said Dr. Kristina Box. “By joining forces with Optum, we will ensure that testing for COVID-19 is available to Hoosiers who need it most.”

After all the sites open, the department said up to 30,000 people will be tested weekly in addition to the ongoing ISDH testing.

Tuesday afternoon, the Indiana State Department of Health reported 650 new positive coronavirus cases and 57 new deaths, bringing the statewide totals to 16,588 and 901 respectively.

The new numbers show 87,181 people have been tested statewide with a rate of 19% positive.

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