Say Yes! COVID Test Program Offers Free, Rapid, Self-Administered Tests to Louisville Metro Residents in Target ZIP Codes to Reduce COVID-19 Spread

October 12, 2021

Residents can order their free COVID-19 test kits online while supplies last

 

Louisville, KY (October 12, 2021) –– Today Mayor Greg Fischer was joined by Dr. SarahBeth Hartlage, associate medical director for the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, and Assistant Director Connie Mendel, to provide the weekly update on COVID-19 in the community and to launch a new COVID-19 home testing program.

The Say Yes! COVID Test program provides households in targeted ZIP codes in Jefferson County with access to free, rapid COVID-19 test kits that they can self-administer.  Say Yes! COVID Test encourages residents to use the tests twice a week, regardless of symptoms, to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep the community healthy.  Louisville Metro residents in the identified ZIP codes can order testing kits at www.covidhometestlouisville.org for home delivery or call the Lou Health Helpline at 502-912-8598.

The target ZIP codes are 40118, 40202, 40203, 40208, 40210, 40211, 40212, 40213, 40214, 40215, 40216, 40218, 40219, 40229, 40258, 40272. 

These ZIP codes were identified based on high rates of COVID-19, lower than average rates of vaccination and a higher concentration of essential workers.

With most kids now back in school, parents face a new everyday concern: determining whether their child’s latest cough or sneeze might be a sign of COVID-19,” said Mendel. “If it’s COVID, parents will want to keep their child at home to protect other students and staff, while also preventing the spread of the virus in their communities. And if it’s the parent who has a new cough, they also will want to know if the reason is COVID-19 before going to work or the store.”

COVID can also be spread by people who don’t have symptoms.  Testing at home helps people find out if they have it early so they can then take steps to keep their family and community healthy, Mendel added.

Rapid, self-administered testing has potential to disrupt the spread of COVID-19 that occurs when people are infected, but don’t yet have symptoms. Testing twice a week offers the best chance of identifying COVID-19 infection and isolating it early. The COVID-19 tests are authorized for use by the FDA, provided free of charge, and the entire testing process can be managed privately at home. Tests require a quick swab inside each nostril, and results can be read in just 10 minutes. A free, private, and easy-to-use mobile application is available to help individuals in every step of test taking. The maker of the tests, Quidel, is the same company that made the first rapid flu tests used by doctors’ offices across the country. 

Each test package (4 kits; 8 tests total) supports home testing twice a week for four weeks for an individual. Individuals who have not yet received the COVID-19 vaccine or who have the highest risk of exposure to COVID-19, such as people working or going to school outside the home, are ideal candidates for participation, but anyone over the age of 2 is welcome to participate. Test users who choose to use the companion digital assistant to record and share their test results and complete a survey can earn up to $35 in gift cards.

Louisville residents in the target ZIP codes can log on to https://covidhometestlouisville.org/  to order test kits for doorstep delivery. Test kits will also be available for pickup locally at the following locations:

BLACK LIVES MATTER
3900 West Broadway
Hours: Mon-Thurs 5pm-8pm
502-716-0689

 

LA SIERRA TARASCA
6501 Shepherdsville Rd
Hours: Mon-Sun 10am-9pm

 

LOUISVILLE RECOVERY COMMUNITY COALITION
620 South 3rd St #102
Hours: Mon-Thurs 10am-9pm;
Fri & Sat 10am-5pm

 

MI PREFERIDA 
4752 Bardstown Rd
Hours:  Mon-Sun 10am-9pm

 

MOLO VILLAGE 
1219 West Jefferson Suite 204
Hours:  Mon-Thurs 9am-2pm
502-513-6682

 

SOUTH LOUISVILLE COMMUNITY MINISTRIES 
415 1/2 W Ashland Avenue
Hours:  Mon-Thurs 8am-4pm
502-367-6445

 

ST. PETERS CHURCH 
1407 West Jefferson
Hours:  Fri 9am-1pm
502-417-8438

 

SUPERMERCADO PUEBLA 
10119 Taylorsville Rd
Hours:  Mon-Sun 9am-9:30pm

 

TIKAL PLACITA 
1961 Brownsboro Rd #4
Hours:  Mon-Sat 9am-9pm;
Sun 9am-8pm

 

VISION OF LIFE OUTREACH MINISTRIES 
1468 Bland St
Hours:  Tues-Thurs 11:30am-2pm; Second Sat 12pm-2pm
502-715-5808

 

The Say Yes! COVID Test initiative is a cooperative effort from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), community partners, test manufacturer Quidel, and healthcare technology company CareEvolution. State and local health departments and others help connect the initiative to local community members. Researchers at NIH-supported academic health centers will work with CDC and NIH to use publicly available data to determine if the local testing efforts slowed the spread of COVID-19.

For more information about the Say Yes! COVID Test Program, go to https://covidhometestlouisville.org/or call the Lou Health COVID Helpline at 502-912-8598.


COVID Data

According to Dr. Hartlage, while our community remains in the red alert level with a daily incidence rate of 49 cases per 100,000, “we appear to be in a gentle downward trend.”

She emphasized that those at highest risk for severe illness from the highly infectious Delta variant, and 90% of those hospitalized due to COVID, are unvaccinated.  She also reported that the highest number of reported COVID cases is in individuals ages 20 to 44.

Dr. Hartlage noted that while the Delta variant is still the dominant variant in Louisville, wastewater testing has identified a low level of the Lambda variant in a couple areas of the city. However, no human cases have been reported.

Here are the key COVID-19 data metrics for October 12, 2021:

  • Louisville remains in the red alert level with a daily incidence rate of 49 cases per 100,000.

  • There were 2,633 new cases over the previous week.

  • There were 15 additional deaths over the previous week in individuals ages 39 to 89.

  • Individuals 20 -44 are continuing to experience the highest number of cases followed by those who are 0 to 19. The lowest vaccination rates are also in individuals ages 20 to 44.

  • Hospitalization data:

    • 125 patients currently hospitalized have COVID-19.

    • 33 patients in ICU with COVID-19.

    • 26 COVID-19 patients on ventilators.

Vaccines

  • 64.5% of Louisville residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

  • 56.5% have completed the vaccine series.

“The virus has cost our community more than 1,500 lives — our family members, our friends, our neighbors, and co-workers, lives cut short,” said Mayor Fischer. “In recent months, most of those losses were avoidable because today we have a powerful tool in our arsenal. The COVID vaccines are all safe, highly effective, free and widely available in Louisville. Pharmacies, doctor’s offices, mobile missions hosted by our Public Health team and great community partners can give you a shot. Please, get vaccinated today.”

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View this week’s COVID-19 briefing with public health officials here  The city’s COVID-19 data dashboard, a complete list of COVID-19 testing sites, vaccine information, prevention and contact tracing can be found at www.louisville.gov/covid19. The LOU HEALTH COVID19 Helpline is also available: 502-912-8598.

 

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