Back in July, Mayor Lloyd Winnecke's Reopen Evansville Task Force, working with the Vanderburgh County Health Department and the Indiana State Department of Health, opened a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site at the C.K. Newsome Center in downtown Evansville. The initial plan was to take it month by month, and extend the service if it was deemed necessary based on the number of cases in the area. As we know all to well, the numbers have been trending in the wrong direction lately, so as we enter the month of December, the Task Force has announced another month-long extension of the testing site.

The testing is free for anyone who lives or works in the "Evansville region" and will continue to be offered Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. until December 31st.

Advance registration is necessary and can be done online, or by calling 888-634-1116. No medical insurance is necessary, however if you do have insurance, you'll be asked to provide that information when scheduling your appointment.

If you've never had a COVID test, I can tell you the process is relatively quick, and not as unpleasant as you may think. Not to say that it is pleasant, there is some brief discomfort, but I didn't find it to be as bad as some of the stories early on made it out to be.

The whole process took maybe two minutes. They take a long Q-Tip and put it up one nostril to just below the bridge of your nose, so it's decent way up there. But the fun doesn't stop there. Once they've hit pay dirt, they hold it there for five to ten seconds, spinning it around to make sure they get a good sample, then repeat the process in the other nostril.

Is it uncomfortable? Yes, but I wouldn't call it "painful." There is a bit of a burning sensation, and my eyes watered a bit, both of which the tech who gave me the test warned me about before we got started. With that said, both sensations were gone within a few minutes of the test being over. As for the results, I got the test at Noon on a Friday, and was told I tested negative by 7:00 the next morning. That was back in late August. From what I've heard from people who have received the test more recently, the results seem to be taking a little longer to get back.

The most agonizing part of the whole thing was 19 hours of waiting for those results. My mind instantly went to what would happen if my result came back positive. I'd have to stay home for two weeks. Would I have mild symptoms? More severe? Or, no symptoms at all? Fortunately, I didn't have to find out, and hopefully I never will.

[Source: Reopen Evansville Task Force Press Release]

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