More than 900 people were tested at the state’s drive-through COVID-19 testing site that opened in Pikeville over a three-day period last week, and at least three Pike County residents tested positive at the site.

The state opened four drive-through testing sites in order to expand testing for patients who fit the criteria for having the virus. The sites opened in Madisonville, Paducah, Somerset and Pikeville on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday last week. The sites were coordinated by the Kentucky Department of Public Health, Kroger Health, the healthcare arm of The Kroger Company, and Gravity Diagnostics.

State and local officials planned to conduct up to 1,000 tests at each of the clinics. Over the three-day period, 942 patients were tested at Pikeville’s site, with 407 patients tested on Tuesday and Wednesday and 535 patients tested on Thursday.

At least three patients have tested positive for the virus at the site so far, including a 23-year-old female, 77-year-old male and 74-year-old female. Pike County Public Health Director Tammy Riley said the individuals have been notified, and they are recovering while isolated at their homes.

Riley said that she expects more patients to test positive from the clinic event due to the success of the event. She said that the test resources were nearly exhausted at the site, and that is what she and other officials hoped would happen. She described the number of patients tested at the site as a good start to widespread testing, which is necessary to contain the virus.

“Any progress towards widespread testing is helpful,” Riley said. “Remember, the sooner we know if someone is infected, the sooner we quarantine the individual. The sooner we quarantine the infected person’s direct contacts, the sooner we gain control of the spread. Containment is crucial, and we absolutely can’t contain without testing.”

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