Indiana Shutting Down State’s COVID Sites After Giving Over 541K Tests

The Indiana Department of Health announced on Thursday it will close its free COVID-19 testing at the end of the month. It will instead leave that responsibility up to pharmacies, clinics, and local health departments.

Indiana teamed up with OptumServe to provide over 541,000 free COVID-19 tests.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said: “While our case counts have fallen significantly, we must continue to take steps to reduce the spread of disease. 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.”

She added that while OptumServe sites were closing, over 250 sites will still offer free COVID-19 testing.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Notre Dame University Indiana
A sign asking to wear masks is seen on the campus of Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana on October 6, 2020. The Indiana Department of Health is closing COVID-19 testing sites and giving the responsibility to pharmacies, clinics, and local health departments.
Robert Chiarito/Getty Images

An increase in locally sourced COVID-19 testing has reduced the need for the Optum sites, health department officials said. Local health departments also received state grants last fall to open nearly 100 testing sites.

The 14-month partnership with OptumServe, a division of insurance giant UnitedHealth Group, was announced by Gov. Eric Holcomb in April 2020 to bring large-scale coronavirus testing to Hoosiers.

At its peak, OptumServe provided testing in 53 counties. Currently, 30 counties still have an operating testing site.

Indiana Business
CHESTERTON, INDIANA – MAY 13: Ralph Caron waits for a haircut at Grimaldi’s Barber Shop on May 13, 2020 in Chesterton, Indiana. The Indiana Department of Health is closing COVID-19 testing sites and giving the responsibility to pharmacies, clinics, and local health departments.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

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