NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- The first drive-thru testing for the coronavirus in the Louisville area began Friday in New Albany, Indiana.

The Floyd County Health Department set up in its parking lot to allow pre-screened patients to be tested for COVID-19. People who drove into the lot were met by staff in surgical protection, gloves and masks. Patients rolled down their windows to fill out paperwork and be tested.

As of Friday morning, there were five confirmed cases of the virus in Floyd County. Some of those are being treated at the hospital while others are being quarantined at home.

Health officials emphasize that the drive-thru program is not for the public. The patients have been screened, referred by a primary care providers and given an appointment before arriving. The health department said the test done with a nasal swab takes less than five minutes, but it could be several days before the results are back.

Anyone with questions can call the Floyd County Health Department at 812-948-4726 ext. 656.

The World Health Organization has instructed countries to “test, test, test” to track and isolate those carrying the virus. But the evolving message from U.S. decision-makers acknowledges that many suspected cases will likely go untested.

The White House's coronavirus task force has increasingly emphasized that testing should prioritize the elderly and health care workers who have symptoms of the virus. The Trump administration is expected to soon announce the rollout of nearly 50 community-based testing centers around the country, including more drive-thru sites.

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