Proof of COVID vaccination or testing has become a new normal for traveling, attending concerts or even returning to school or work after possible exposure.
GenePace Laboratories, 314 East Southway Blvd., is stepping in to help boost local testing. The company, which started with labs in Indianapolis and Carmel, arrived in Kokomo two weeks ago.
“We saw a need in the community at the end of last year,” said GenePace’s chief operating officer Craig Kunkle. “During the hardest parts of the pandemic, the key to having any kind of existence was to be able to test and test quickly. There weren’t a lot of options for that second part in particular.”
GenePace offers polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and point-of-care antigen tests that can provide results within 24 hours. It also hopes to add flu tests in the next month and neutralizing antibody tests in the future.
Neutralizing antibody tests can estimate how much protection a person’s body still has from a vaccine.
Those seeking a COVID test can easily sign up on the GenePace website. Visitors should bring an insurance card and a photo ID when they come to the lab.
“The test takes about five minutes at most,” said Dawn Jarvis, assistant operations manager at the Kokomo site. “Visitors will verify their info on a computer screen and then proceed to be tested. They will get their results via email by the selected time.”
“The government has done a great job of fulfilling the ability to get a test if you want one, even if you are uninsured,” Kunkle said. “If you come in and are uninsured, just bring your ID. Your test is covered by the federal government.”
The lab uses a mid-turbinate swab test. The test involves collecting a nasal swab less than 1-inch from inside the nose.
“It makes you want to sneeze and your eyes water a bit but that’s a sign we got a good sample,” said Jarvis.
There are also options available for GenePace to come to an employer’s place of business and perform tests on site.
During the 2021 NCAA men’s basketball tournament in Indianapolis, GenePace supported IU Health in its efforts to keep everyone healthy by testing workers at venues such as Banker’s Life Fieldhouse and Hinkle Fieldhouse.
“I don’t know when we officially turn on and off the pandemic word,” Kunkle said. “It seems clear to me that we are going to have to manage our way through this.”
Kunkle and Jarvis hope GenePace becomes another resource that can alleviate pressure on the first responders and also help people get back to living their lives.
Locations in Fort Wayne and South Bend will be opening soon.
“We are in the business of providing a little bit of certainty in this time of nonstop uncertainty,” he said.
For more information visit https://www.genepace.com/.