UK HealthCare offers drive-through testing to frontline employees


A UK HealthCare employee directs an employee through at the drive-through testing site at UK HealthCare Turfland. Photo by Jeremy Blackburn 

Natalie Parks

Drive-through COVID-19 testing will be offered to UK HealthCare’s “frontline employees and patient care providers.”

Testing will be by appointment for employees who have symptoms, but do not need in-patient care and will begin later this week, a press release sent Thursday shows. It’s not clear exactly what day testing will begin. 

UK HealthCare will use a survey, filled out by workers with symptoms and those who have returned from a destination that is designated as high risk by the CDC, to identify individuals for drive-through testing.

“We want to make sure we take care of our employees so they can take care of our community,” said Dr. Mark Newman, University of Kentucky executive vice president for health affairs. “With the availability of tests and supplies, we are prioritizing testing for inpatients and health care employees who are symptomatic at this time.”

The media release stated that approximately 100 drive-through appointments will be scheduled each day, but that testing is dependent on the available supplies.

The media release did not say what day drive-through testing would begin, but that employees were trained in drive-through care on Wednesday and “appointments for those being screened begin later this week.”

Dr. Sarah Schuetz, internal medicine physician at UK HealthCare and co-physician lead for drive-thru testing for COVID-19, said testing was focused on health care employees because they are most at risk for exposure and because the hospital needs employees back to work to care for patients.

“We do not want any of our health care workers feeling like they have to work when they are sick, and we want to be able to get them a diagnosis as quickly as possible,” said Schuetz.

Drive-through testing will serve UK HealthCare employees who have been pre-screened, but an expansion of the service to other groups and the public “will be considered once access to tests increases,” said the media release.