Kentucky Care locations throughout the Purchase region — including two in Paducah — are into their third week of providing expanded testing for COVID-19.
“The need, as it relates to COVID-19, has always been there,” said Emerson Goodwin, corporate regional director-Kentucky.
“The question has always been, ‘Do you have access to the supplies that you need to be able to conduct and expand your testing?’
“Before we were limited to being able to test people that were symptomatic. With the expansion of testing supplies we now can test those who are symptomatic and asymptomatic,” Goodwin said.
“So, as soon as that came online we made that available.”
The two Paducah locations are at 125 S. 20th St., and 3240 Irvin Cobb Drive.
Appointments are suggested, but not mandatory, Goodwin said.
“We encourage people to make appointments, but folks can walk in,” he said.
“We have capacity we have to try to manage, so if they call (for an appointment) that helps us do that. We don’t want to turn people away, but that doesn’t mean we can see 50 people in a day, either. So what we’re asking people to do is call.
“If their situation is that they cannot call, they can walk in and we’ll try our best to get them in. But that doesn’t mean we’re promising that day.”
Phone numbers and locations of Kentucky Care clinics are listed at kentuckycare.net.
The testing done at Kentucky Care clinics is referred to as a shallow nose swab, different from the more intrusive nose swab commonly referred to as the “brain tickle,” Goodwin said.
“What happens with our COVID-19 testing is if they have insurance, while the patient does not pay, we do bill their insurance,” he said.
“If the patient does not have insurance, we will take their required information for them, but they will not receive a bill for the COVID testing.”
All patients are screened before testing.
“We do it (screening) in different ways,” Goodwin said. “Sometimes, depending on what’s going on in the clinic, we will screen people in their cars.
“We have some people tell us they feel like they may have been exposed and so we are going to try to separate them from the other patients.
“People are screened in our offices as well.”
Testing is important so that individuals will know if they are likely to have the virus and likely to pass it on to a loved one, Goodwin said.
“It’s summertime. People want to get out and enjoy themselves and get with their families,” he said. “But we know that COVID-19 hasn’t disappeared.
“It is important for an individual’s health, for family health ... and the health of the larger community.”