Residents of Bowling Green and Owensboro can receive drive-up testing for the coronavirus starting this week.
A partnership with state officials, Kroger, and some private labs has made more testing available in recent weeks as the state plans a gradual reopening of some services.
While testing was previously reserved for those with COVID-19 symptoms, healthcare workers, and first responders, testing is now being expanded to all who want it, although registration is required.
"We welcome this opportunity to expand our effort in our nation's battle against COVID-19," Colleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Health, said in a statement. "We know widespread testing is critical to containing the spread of COVID-19 and flattening the curve."
Testing will be done in Bowling Green at South Warren High School. In Daviess County, testing will take place at Owensboro Community and Technical College. Each location will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
As people arrive for their tests, they should have ready their photo IDs and should leave their windows rolled up until a health care professional comes to the vehicle. The drive-thru tests are free and consist of nasal swabs. Test results should be available within two days.
Louisville and Lexington are also opening up testing this week. The Bowling Green, Lexington, and Louisville sites are already booked for this week and testing at those locations will continue on Friday and into next week, as well. For more details or to register, go to krogerhealth.com/covidtesting.
Testing has already occurred in Franklin, Kenton, Madisonville, Paducah, Somerset, and Pikeville.
Meanwhile, law enforcement in Kentucky is warning residents about the dangers of fraudulent COVID-19 testing sites.
“They pretend to be affiliated sometimes with a hospital or clinic. They perform testing, often for cash," said Russell Coleman, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky. "They do it in a slip shot manner, putting patients at risk, and then they perform fraud on the backend by billing the government.”
Coleman says scammers may use fraudulent testing sites to obtain personal information and payments from patients, often without fully processing the tests or providing patients with the results.
Law enforcement urges people to contact a trusted, licensed health care provider and avoid testing sites that require upfront or cash only payments.
As of Sunday evening, 48,474 Kentuckians had been tested for the coronavirus and 4,074 cases were positive. There have been 208 deaths from the repiratory illness.