Behind a nondescript strip mall in Carmel, Indiana, a short line of cars gathers mid-afternoon next to a large tent. Medical professionals stand out front, dressed head to toe in blue medical coveralls. People in the cars — many of them first responders — drive up to be tested for COVID-19.
The test involves a really long swab placed deep into the nose, toward the back of the throat.
“No, it’s not fun, but it’s quick. I would say painless, but it is a little painful,” Carmel firefighter Tim Griffin said. “It’s 5-10 seconds and then it’s all done and the burning goes away and you move on.”
While there were shortages of COVID-19 tests across the country in March and April, this affluent Indianapolis suburb took an unusual step to keep residents safe. All city employees who deal directly with the public — such as police officers and emergency medical services personnel and sanitation workers — were tested weekly even if they showed no symptoms. Their families could also be tested.