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St. Joseph County 4-H Fairgrounds to become COVID-19 testing site

Published: Dec. 1, 2020 at 5:46 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Coronavirus testing efforts on South Bend’s south side are about to get supersized.

Starting Monday morning Dec. 7, a place where you’re used to getting elephant ears and lemon shake ups will become a place where you can get a coronavirus test.

St. Joseph County government will rent the 4-H fairgrounds through the end of February for $7,600 per month.

The testing will take place under awnings recently placed outside the Singer Building.

St. Joseph Health System will close the crowded COVID-19 test site it now operates off Elm Road.

“They were talking sometimes they get 300, 400 people a day that could get tested so this would certainly accommodate for that,” explained St. Joseph County Commissioner Andy Kostielney.

“We have really one testing lane at our current location off of Elm Road and Bodnar where, what we’ve designed at the fairgrounds will be two lanes so as traffic comes in and winds around the road there will be split into two lanes so we’ll be able to increase the amount of testing that we can do,” added Christopher Karam, President of St. Joseph Health System.

The sheer size of the property has prompted some speculation that the fairgrounds may eventually play a role in the distribution of a coronavirus vaccine but Karam stated: “We haven’t talked about that at this stage of the game. We’re really focusing on the COVID testing end of it.”

“The university has shown us that the clear path to victory if you will, or at least to limited success is we need testing, testing, testing and the sooner we get that done then the fewer people we have that are infected going out in the community,” Commissioner Kostielney added.

The testing site at the fairgrounds will open at 8:00 a.m. Monday.

It’s hoped users will eventually be able to pre-register online so they won’t have to spend time doing paperwork on site.

Testing hours:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Tuesday, Thursday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Saturday: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Sunday: Closed

Registration Link: https://scheduling.coronavirus.in.gov/Home/LocationSelection

Testing is free at this state site. No insurance cards are required. They will request a photo ID to confirm the identity of the person being tested.

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