Ky. Air Guard supports drive-thru testing site for COVID-19

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Chloe Ochs
  • 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
A team of 15 Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard began supporting a drive-thru testing site here today to screen members of the community for COVID-19.

The site, located at Madisonville-North Hopkinsville High School, will continue testing until April 23, said Lt. Col. Patricia Adams, the mission’s officer in charge. Her team is currently working with local police to conduct traffic control operations.

The location, which is prepared to test 350 members of the community per day, is one of four currently set up throughout the state, including testing sites in Paducah, Pikeville and Somerset.

Only certain people are eligible to use the sites. These include health care workers, first responders, those 65 and older, people with chronic health conditions and anyone exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. To receive a test, participants must first use an online screening tool located at Alternately, participants may call 1 (800) 852-2567 and select option 1, then option 2. Further instructions will be provided after screening.

“I think that these testing sites are imperative for the governor’s game plan on how we’re going to make it through this pandemic,” Adams said. “The location here has been good, there’s plenty of space. It’s provided an ideal situation for the number of cars that are anticipated to come through.

“Our service members feel very fortunate to be able to serve these communities in our home state,” Adams continued. “We’re all fellow Kentuckians ourselves, and we will stay for as long as we are needed.”

The testing is currently being administered by patient care technicians from The Little Clinic, a division of Kroger. They have 1,000 tests ready for use at this site and are hoping to administer 350 tests per day. Results typically are available within 48 hours.

The Kentucky Air Guard members, all from the Louisville-based 123rd Airlift Wing, are assisting Kentucky State Police with traffic control, explained Master Sgt. Diane Stinnett, the site’s assistant non-commissioned officer in charge.

“We’re out there helping conduct the flow of traffic, making sure that people are routing through the site in the correct way and trying to minimize any contact between personnel here and those being tested.

“This team has been amazing,” added Stinnett, first sergeant for the 123rd Mission Support Group. “We have all the expertise we need from different areas of the wing, to include personnel from the security forces squadron, the communications squadron and the logistics readiness squadron.”

Staff Sgt. Kristiann Maggard, an aircrew resource management specialist for the 123rd Operations Support Squadron, was pleased with how well things went on the first day.

“I think everything has been going really smoothly,” Maggard said. “Everything is really organized. It’s been going great. Our leadership has been awesome. They’ve been really helpful, making sure we have everything we need, so it’s been really good.”