Indianapolis leaders announced a new community testing effort Thursday that aims to address inequity.
The new site will be at Eastern Star Church on Indianapolis’ east side, an area identified with a high number of COVID-19 cases. Initially, testing will focus on people who are symptomatic, older residents, and people with underlying health conditions.
The testing comes after the Marion County Public Health Department released data highlighting how COVID-19 has disportionately impacted the city’s black population. Eastern Star Pastor Jeffery Johnson says this is an important step.
"We can’t have equal remedy if we don’t have equal testing," says Johnson.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett says expanded testing for all is the goal.
"A more accurate picture will begin the process by which we return to a more normal, daily life," says Hogsett.
The site will be able to test about 1,000 people a week to begin.
Marion County Public Health Director Dr. Virginia Caine says the site will be drive-thru.
"But also another process for those who are able to walk, you’re on a bus line, you can walk and be able to get your testing," says Caine.
The testing will be conducted by appointment only. Residents who develop symptoms of the coronavirus -- including fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath -- should call 317-221-5515 or visit www.marionhealth.org/indycovid to complete the registration and health screening to receive an appointment before visiting the testing location.
The county hopes to open at least two more sites in the coming weeks.