BY: DAVID SHEPHERD, NEWS DIRECTOR
JASPER -- A private company contracted by the state will be testing symptomatic patients in Jasper beginning Wednesday.
The testing will also be available for those in close contact with a symptomatic patient.
Minnesota-based OptumServe started testing in California last week.
The new testing site will be located at the National Guard Armory in Jasper. 19 other armories around the state are doing the same, according to Indiana’s chief medical officer Lindsay Weaver. She says the goal is to perform 30-thousand tests a week on top of the department's own "strike team" testing in hotspots and high-risk settings like long-term care facilities.
Indiana has lagged behind other states in testing in the first weeks of the pandemic, though Weaver says the state has beefed up testing the last couple of weeks.The state has averaged 22-thousand tests a week over the last month.
To make an appointment for testing in Jasper, you can call (888) 634 – 1123 or register online by CLICKING HERE.
Testing will still be limited to people with symptoms and those who have been in close contact with them. The state will pick up the cost, but patients need to make an appointment through Optum's website.
Governor Holcomb says the goal is to get testing into parts of the state which have been underserved so far.
Holcomb says broader testing will unearth more positive cases, but he says more complete data is important in guiding the state's plans for gradually lifting restrictions first imposed five weeks ago.
Weaver says she's hopeful federal grants will cover some or all of the 18-million-dollar cost of the OptumServe contract.