Since being called into action by Governor Eric Holcomb, the Indiana National Guard has assisted with many efforts in the fight against COVID-19. Among them is helping state and local agencies conduct the first state-run drive-through testing site in Merrillville.
The site, located at Merrillville High School, is being run as a collaboration among the Indiana State Department of Health, the Lake County Health Department, the Merrillville Police Department and other agencies. Nearly 30 soldiers from the guard’s 2nd Battalion, 151st Infantry Regiment in South Bend have been assisting with traffic control, lane setup and overall support for the ISDH.
The site is being used specifically to make testing more available for first responders, medical professionals, and essential business personnel such as grocery store employees, bus drivers and others who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
“A lot of people have been asking about more testing,” said Shane Hatchett, chief of staff for the ISDH. “We are making it more accessible to those who are putting their lives on the line every day.”
The testing site was implemented in about 48 hours, according to the Guard, and began on Wednesday. It will remain open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. through Saturday.