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Lexington Health Officials Act To Address Rise In COVID-19 Cases In Hispanic Community

Mayor Gorton brings stakeholders together to prepare City for Coronavirus - COVID-19 Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Lexington health officials are hoping a Mobile Neighborhood Testing Program will help combat the spread of COVID-19 among the city's Hispanic population, which has seen a disproportionate increase in cases. WUKY's Josh James has more.

The series of free drive-up and walk-in coronavirus testing sites will set up shop first in Lexington's Cardinal Valley neighborhood starting this Thursday.

Danna Aguilar works at the local elementary school, and says the goal is to build trust and remove obstacles to access.

This week's testing will take place at Cardinal Valley Elementary School on Thursday and Friday, and move to the Cardinal Valley Park shelter on Saturday.

Face coverings will be provided.

Official Release From The City:

Mayor Linda Gorton said on Thursday the City will begin offering a series of free drive-up and walk-up COVID-19 neighborhood testing locations, responding to a disproportionate increase of cases in the city’s Hispanic and African-American communities.

The first stop in the Mobile Neighborhood Testing Program series will be Lexington’s Cardinal Valley neighborhood. Starting this Thursday, Bluewater Diagnostic Laboratory will provide free tests at Cardinal Valley Elementary School and, on Saturday, in Valley Park at the shelter. Information in Spanish will be available, and bilingual staff will be on site to assist.

“Our community has seen a disproportionate increase in COVID-19 cases in some groups. With the help of Bluewater, we’re focused on bringing a series of walk-up and drive-up testing locations to neighborhoods, and we’re starting in Cardinal Valley,” Gorton said. “Getting people tested is vitally important. With COVID-19, sometimes there are no symptoms, or it feels like an allergy attack. Some people continue to infect others because they do not know they have the virus. The more people who get tested, the better we know what we have to do to slow the increase.”

“Black and Hispanic people in Lexington continue to be disproportionately affected by the pandemic in Lexington,” said Lexington-Fayette County Commissioner of Health Dr. Kraig Humbaugh. “Because the percentage of COVID-19 cases in people who identify as Hispanic has risen in Lexington, the Cardinal Valley test sites may make testing more available to this community. This is another opportunity for people to be tested for COVID-19 in a location that could be more convenient to where they live and work.”

This week’s round of testing will begin at Cardinal Valley Elementary School. Testing will take place from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Thursday, June 25, and 2-8 p.m. Friday, June 26. On Saturday, June 27, the testing will move to the Cardinal Valley Park shelter. Testing will take place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Face masks will be provided to those being tested while supplies last. A Spanish-speaking translator will be available on site.

Drive-thru testing is also available seven days a week at the Walgreen’s testing location at 2296 Executive Drive (the corner of Winchester Road and Executive Drive). Tests will continue for approximately two weeks, or until they run out of test kits (testing approximately 200 per day). Online registration is recommended, but not required, at walgreens.com/coronavirus.

In addition, drive-thru testing is available, at least through July, at the Kroger Health testing site at Bluegrass Community & Technical College Newtown Campus. The testing entrance is located off Loudon Avenue near the intersection with Newtown Pike. Testing is available by appointment, which can be secured by visiting thelittleclinic.com/drivethru-testing. Appointments are available Monday through Friday.

Bluewater Diagnostic Laboratory has been recognized by the state of Kentucky for expanding the state’s COVID-19 testing capacity. Based in Mount Washington, KY, they are committed to be an industry leader in cutting-edge instrumentation and testing methodologies.


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