County, state offer COVID-19 health options | News

County, state offer COVID-19 health options | News

As of Dec. 8, McLean County has 78 active cases of COVID-19, 11 more than last week. The county is still in the red with an incidence rate of 68.3, according to the Kentucky Department for Public Health.

McLean County Health Center is still offering free testing on Dec. 9, 16, 21 and 28 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Health First Community Health Center, located in Providence, is also offering drive-thru COVID-19 testing in Calhoun in the Calhoun Baptist Church parking lot every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The test takes five minutes with an oral swab and participants are notified with your results between 48 and 72 hours, depending on the test. Rapid testing requires certain qualifications that are determined at the time of testing. There is no out-of-pocket cost for patients. Those who use the drive-thru testing should bring their driver’s license and insurance cards.

“It doesn’t hurt to be tested at a screening,” said Beth Devine, Health First COVID-19 coordinator. “You may protect someone. If you have symptoms, certainly you need testing, or if you’ve had a known exposure, you need testing. Some need testing prior to a procedure.”

Additional testing is available at Health First locations on Tuesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and Wednesdays from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Appointments are required and can be made at 1-877-667-7017. Health First locations available for testing are Earlington, Owensboro, Morganfield, Princeton and Providence.

Health First operates in eight locations throughout seven counties. Those counties include Caldwell, Daviess, McLean, Henderson, Hopkins, Webster and Union.

Statewide COVID-19 numbers fell by 1,000 on Tuesday and have surpassed more than 3 million administered tests, according to a press release sent out by Gov. Andy Beshear on Dec. 8.

As of Tuesday, Kentucky has added 3,114 new cases of COVID-19 and confirmed 20 more deaths. To date, 205,668 Kentuckians have tested positive and 2,102 have died as a result of the virus, according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

“We have built, in the last nine months, a system that provides over 350 testing locations, that has now done more than 3 million tests in a state that has 4.4 million people,” Beshear said in the release.

Beshear’s office is reporting that 239,000 residents are currently uninsured and more than half qualify for financial help to pay for health coverage through Medicaid.

Kentucky is making an effort to help residents become insured by honoring national “Get Covered 2021.”

“Get Covered 2021 is a national effort to encourage mask-wearing and to substantially increase the number of people with health coverage,” said Beshear in the release.

Those who are interested in health coverage can go to the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange website at or contact Health First Kynector Tara Tapp-Kolodey at 270-215-5017.

The last day for open enrollment is Dec. 15, but those needing Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program can apply all year round.

Due to COVID-19, Kentuckians can also apply for Presumptive Eligibility until Dec. 31. This allows access to Medicaid services without waiting for applications to be fully processed. This is a temporary insurance that lasts between four to six months, according to Tapp-Kolodey.

PE covers services such as hospital visits, pharmacy, emergency room services, physicians, dental, lab work and X-ray services, according to Kynect.

Tapp-Kolodey said the application for health insurance is quick and easy, taking anywhere between five to 45 minutes.

“We can do just about everything on the phone and electronically,” she said. “It’s simpler to apply for health insurance now and you can get your answer by the time we get off the phone.”

Tapp-Kolodey will be hosting a Q&A on Health First’s Facebook page today at 4:30 p.m. and they encourage people to tune in to learn about more options on health care.

Karah Wilson,, 270-228-2835

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