INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) — The Indiana Department of Health announced it will close COVID-19 testing sites run by OptumServe Health Services effective June 30 since there is a robust community-led testing network is in place, including pharmacies, providers, clinics and local health departments.
The partnership was announced by Gov. Eric Holcomb in April 2020 to bring large-scale testing to Hoosiers and remove barriers to testing by providing free and nearby access at a time when community resources were limited. Since May 6, 2020, the department said more than 541,000 free COVID-19 tests have been provided at an OptumServe site.
“We are grateful to OptumServe for its work to ensure that Hoosiers had COVID testing available to them while we worked to build more local capacity,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “Without their work, many Hoosiers who were exposed to COVID or showing symptoms might never have known their status. I have no doubt that having this resource available helped reduce the spread of COVID in our state.”
At its peak, OptumServe provided testing in 53 counties, the department said. Currently, 30 counties have an OptumServe testing site. Throughout 2020 and early 2021, more community-based providers, clinics and pharmacies have been able to offer COVID-19 testing, reducing the need for Optum sites. In addition, local health departments received state grants in the fall of 2020 to open nearly 100 testing sites.
Dr. Box said demand for testing has decreased across the state and that free testing will remain available at more than 250 sites after the Optum sites close. Find a COVID-19 testing site near you by visiting www.coronavirus.in.gov.
“While our case counts have fallen significantly, we must continue to take steps to reduce the spread of disease,” Box said. “We remain committed to ensuring that any Hoosier who wants or needs to be tested can receive that testing in a location that’s convenient.”