EVANSVILLE, Ind (WEHT) The City of Evansville will soon end COVID-19 testing at the CK Newsome Center. June 23 will be the last day for testing at the facility.
Last year, the CK Newsome Center became a constant source of COVID testing, offering testing through the week, every week. You can still get tested Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. until June 23. The COVID-19 testing site at the CK Newsome Center is a state partnered testing site in Evansville for all community members. It helped keep the pressure off hospital and health department testing sites during the brink of the pandemic for nearly 11 months.
“It was vital early on in the stage of the pandemic,” said Brian Holtz, the Executive Director for Evansville’s Parks and Recreation Department.
11,400 people got swabbed for COVID-19 at the CK Newsome Center’s testing site, but after June 23 community members will no longer be able to enter the walk-in COVID-19 testing site.
“With the dramatic decrease in the need for testing certainly those resources can be better served in other opportunities,” said Evansville Deputy Mayor Steve Shaefer. When positive cases were surging across the Tri-State, CK Newsome Center’s free testing site took the pressure off local hospital and health department testing sites. “It was a temporary gap which lasted for about 11 months but was very helpful for the entire community, helpful to the hospitals, the healthcare workers.”
Deputy Mayor Steve Shaefer said in the summer of 2020, the Reopen Evansville Task Force was working with health experts from the Vanderburgh County Health Department and state health officials to ensure coronavirus wasn’t able to spread throughout the entire building.
“We figured all of that out with different air units and ventilation through the building and so it’s all these different types of concerns that we never thought about before,” explained Shaefer.
After June 23, the COVID-19 testing site will get a deep cleaning then that portion of the community center will be ready to be rented out for events once again.
Brian Holtz, the executive director of Evansville’s Department of Parks and Recreation said not being able to rent the space out for nearly a year cut into their bottom line. Although, they were able to rent out other spaces of the building. Although, Holtz said you can’t put a price tag on how this space helped inundated healthcare workers during the pandemic.
“With lost revenue also comes the ability to offer a COVID testing site which was used very extensively in the time that it’s been open,” Holtz explained.