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Beshear planning statewide drive-thu testing for coronavirus

Beshear planning statewide drive-thu testing for coronavirus

The launch of an ambitious plan to set up drive-thru coronavirus testing facilities across Kentucky has struggled through unexpected delays.

On Thursday, Gov. Andy Beshear was within hours of publicly announcing the launch of the program before changing course due to supply problems with testing kits and protective gear for medical personnel. In a conference call to county judge executives, Beshear described how the program would work.

“We are probably going to do a two-day test run in Frankfort,” the governor said on the call. “And that’s just to make sure we know the challenges we face. And then be able to scale up to three separate sites by the end of next week, and then working with a goal of scaling up to nearly 40 sites across the state as the weeks continue.”

Beshear said the plan is expected to be a model for other states when it is operational.

“I believe with these sites, when they are set up,” he said Monday, “we are going to be ahead of most every other state which is going to provide us a real advantage.”

Monday, the governor did not offer a timetable for the launch but said it depended on getting the materials needed.

“I’ve got big hopes and ambitions on what we can do with testing and we have been working every day to try and put us in the front of the line with some groups out there that can partner to do it,” Beshear said, “and I believe that we’re close and I’ve just gotta see test kits and personal protective equipment.”

He said state drive-thrus would only be open to first responders and medical personnel in need of testing as well as vulnerable patients over 60 and with ongoing medical conditions.

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