Marking another sign of progress in the fight against COVID-19, UofL Health has closed its drive-thru COVID-19 testing and vaccination site at the corner of Brook and Liberty streets in downtown Louisville.
The site opened in March of 2020, offering free community testing supported by the Commonwealth, preoperative testing and clinical referral testing. As the need grew, UofL Health created five permanent drive-thru locations and four pop-up locations, performing more than 89,000 COVID-19 swab tests.
“UofL Health has led the way throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We were the first to open a drive-thru testing site in the state, the first to receive and administer the COVID-19 vaccine and UofL Health designed, set up and operated Kentucky’s largest drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination site at University of Louisville’s Cardinal Stadium,” said Tom Miller, CEO of UofL Health. “As an academic health care system, we are committed to making sure everyone has easy access to the testing and care they need.”
The core COVID-19 team at UofL Health was made up of 22 employees. Other team members volunteered, as their schedules allowed, to staff the sites and volunteers from the University of Louisville School of Medicine, AmeriCorps, Kentucky Air National Guard, Army National Guard, FEMA, the Commonwealth of Kentucky provided invaluable help at each site.
“Our staff and volunteers went above and beyond to make our testing and vaccination sites possible. They worked long hours, through rain, snow and extreme heat to make sure everyone who wanted a test or vaccine received one,” said Hugh Shoff, M.D., associate chief medical officer of UofL Hospital. “We also could not have done this without the behind-the-scenes help from our IT, staffing, pharmacy and supply chain teams. This was a true team effort.”
Kentucky’s first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrived at UofL Hospital on Dec. 14, 2020. Five UofL Health frontline medical providers were the first in the state to receive the vaccine. The next day, UofL Health began administering the vaccine to eligible community members. From Dec. 2020 through the end of June 2021, UofL Health administered nearly 150,000 COVID-19 vaccines through its four drive-thru locations and 22 pop-up sites. The pop-up sites were largely concentrated in federally designated Medically Underserved Areas.
“We know transportation and internet access are barriers to health care for many of our community members, so we expanded our reach through partnerships with churches, community centers, Jefferson County Public Schools and area businesses to provide COVID-19 vaccinations. We focused on Medically Underserved Areas to make sure as many people as possible could receive a shot of hope,” said Jason Smith, M.D., chief medical officer of UofL Health.
UofL Health now offers COVID-19 testing and vaccinations at its Urgent Care Plus locations throughout the region. To learn more visit https://uoflhealth.org/louisville-covid-19-vaccinations/