INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana residents will see increased free COVID-19 testing across the state in the coming days.
Under the state’s partnership with Gravity Diagnostics, the Kentucky-based company will provide staff and supplies needed to collect and analyze up to 5,000 COVID-19 tests per day, including rapid antigen and PCR tests, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.
The testing operation is expected to come together in a matter of weeks and have the ability to expand to 45 sites, if needed. The contract runs through June 2022.
The new partnership will allow the state to offer testing in communities with a higher need for longer periods, State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said Friday. That will allow mobile units to continue to host shorter testing and vaccination clinics in other areas of the state, she added.
Testing sites will remain at designated locations for fixed periods of time to increase availability in communities that currently lack adequate testing resources.
The agreement also offers the option to provide voluntary testing in K-12 school settings, although details are still being finalized, Box said. Under that provision, Gravity will coordinate with schools directly to determine their interest.
Testing is being emphasized once again as COVID-19 cases continue to rise once again across the state. In La Porte County, there were 140 new cases reported over the weekend by ISDH – as of Sunday, there have been 13,869 cases and 233 deaths in the county.
The county’s 7-day all-test positivity rate was at 10.2 percent and the rate for unique individuals tested was at 16.8 percent. Both numbers continue to climb.
Three mobile vaccination clinics will be conducted in the county this week:
La Porte: Tuesday from 1-5 p.m. at the INDOT District Office, 315 Boyd Blvd. No appointment required.
LaCrosse: Tuesday from 10 a.m.-1p.m. at the LaCrosse Public Library, 307 E Main Street. Appointments are encouraged, but not required, by calling 219-754-2606.
Wanatah: Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at Hunt Park, 401 Cross St. Rapid antigen and PCR tests will be available, and no appointment required.
While the vaccines remain optional for most people, in West Lafayette, about 300 Purdue University students or employees face disciplinary action for failing to comply with the school’s mandatory testing for those who haven’t provided proof of vaccination, the university announced.
That includes 84 students on the West Lafayette campus who have been notified a second time that they haven’t completed required surveillance testing three weeks into the fall semester, Purdue officials said.
A third violation could result in suspension from the university as soon as this week.
About 210 employees have received an initial written warning for not being tested. Those employees face disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Purdue is requiring surveillance testing, which could be as frequently as each week, for any students or employees who’ve not submitted documentation of vaccination.
About 82 percent of the some 55,000 students and employees on the West Lafayette campus have submitted such proof, according to university tracking.
Indiana University has also mandated that all students and employees receive COVID-19 vaccinations unless they are granted exemptions or face dismissal from classes or jobs.
The latest figures released by IU show 88 percent compliance, but school officials haven’t released information about disciplinary actions.