The Park DuValle Community Health Center and UofL Health have partnered together to launch a new drive-up COVID-19 testing site at the health center.
The testing site is by appointment only and for patients who have a referral from a Park DuValle Community Health Center provider and who are considered high-risk, which means they have multiple chronic diseases or are undergoing treatments.
"For example, someone who might have asthma, diabetes, hypertension, COPD," Park DuValle Community Health Center CEO Elizabeth Ann Hagan-Grigsby said.
The drive-up testing site launched Wednesday and tested eight patients on what the organizers called a "soft opening" for them to smooth out some of the kinks before they start to increase the number of tests in the coming weeks.
This new location comes as Kentucky seeks to ramp up its testing. To date, less than 1 percent of Kentuckians have been tested for the coronavirus and health experts have said more testing is needed before states start opening back up.
"It might occur to you to be more diligent about the things we need to do to keep each other safe, about staying at home, about distancing, about wearing a mask," Hagan-Grigsby said.
"We can help them isolate," Hugh Shoff, UofL Health's Chief Quality Officer, said. "We can advise them to quarantine, restrict the exposure they have to other high-risk patients and populations."
Around the nation, communities of color have also been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus and while statistics have not shown the extreme disparities in Louisville at this time, health experts said it is still too early to know for sure and that testing will help shed light on this issue as well as prevent more cases.
"I don't think we have a real answer as how that demographic is going to look," Hagan-Grigsby said.
"We really wanted to get a feel for what that's doing to our community here and Park DuValle's a great opportunity for us to come over and offer to their patient population, to help them provide better care for those patients," Shoff said.