Hoosiers waiting hours in line for testing as demand rapidly increases

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INDIANAPOLIS — Hoosiers across central Indiana are waiting sometimes hours in line at testing sites to get a COVID-19 test. Others are having trouble finding an open time slot to make an appointment.

Joe Meyer, Senior Vice President of System Operations at IU Health, said the demand is increasing as the virus quickly spreads.

“Because we don’t have a vaccine, even if I had a high-risk exposure last weekend and tested negative, you know if I had a high-risk exposure next week, I might want to be tested again,” Meyer said. “So, what you really see is a compounding effect on COVID-19 testing demand.”

IU Health is testing symptomatic patients. If you are asymptomatic or concerned about being highly exposed, Meyer urges you to take certain precautions before getting a test.

“If you think you’ve had a high-risk exposure then you should quarantine, isolate yourself,” Meyer said.

Riverview Health is testing every patient coming into the hospital before a surgery or procedure. However, they are only testing symptomatic people at all Riverview Health Emergency Room & Urgent Care locations in Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, West Carmel/Zionsville, as well as at Riverview Health Physicians offices too.

Meyer said the demand is high everywhere.

“I would be hard pressed to find any laboratory who wouldn’t say they need more testing,” Meyer said.

The Marion County Health Department is also testing all symptomatic people, and all frontline essential workers whether they are symptomatic or not. People can make appointments on the department’s website, marionhealth.org.

The Indiana State Health Department is also offering free COVID-19 testing. There are no requirements for testing, according to the website. You can look up the location nearest you and schedule an appointment on their website, www.coronavirus.in.gov.

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