New entrance for COVID-19 testing site

Traffic pattern changes to alleviate backups on city streets

COVINGTON, Ky. – Headed to Covington to get a COVID-19 test?

Note that there’s a new entrance to the Gravity Diagnostics testing site downtown, and it incorporates a new traffic pattern that closes a city block and uses the entire former IRS campus.

The new entrance is on RiverCenter Boulevard near the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. The street that’s closed is one block of Johnson Street between Third and Fourth streets. And the new traffic pattern involves stacking cars in the separate IRS lot where the actual former paper processing facility sits.

“The new route was created to help alleviate some of the traffic backups we’ve been experiencing during the current surge in testing,” said Covington Assistant Police Chief/Operations Brian Valenti. “In order to keep as many people off the surface streets as possible, we’ve begun to utilize the IRS lot as a queue.”

To navigate the testing site, follow the signs. But in general:

  • The new entrance begins on the north side of the primary IRS campus, on RiverCenter Boulevard, between Johnson Street and Madison Avenue.
  • The traffic cone pattern takes drivers through the IRS campus and across Johnson Street to the parking lot where the testing site is being conducted.
  • Once in the testing site, follow the queues.
  • The exit dumps drivers onto southbound Johnson Street near Fourth Street.

Valenti said the pattern is in place 24/7 for the foreseeable future.

“Even though testing is not being conducted all day, the 300 block of Johnson Street will remain closed until the demand for the testing lowers or until testing is no longer being conducted at that site,” Valenti said.

The Covington location (whose address is technically 302 Fourth St.), is one of three testing sites that Gravity Diagnostics operates in Northern Kentucky. The others are in Florence at 2028 Florence Mall Road and in Fort Mitchell at 2332 Royal Dr.

Updated hours for the Covington testing site are 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., although those hours are subject to being tweaked due to backups and bad weather.

“Our staff has recently been staying until 3 p.m. or later to get all the samples completed,” said Emily Brucken, with Gravity Diagnostics corporate marketing. “There have been some instances where we will close our gates at 1:30 p.m. in order to get all the cars that are in the line tested.”

Updates & info

Brucken said people should see Gravity Diagnostics’ website HERE for additional information about the testing sites, schedules, schedule closure alerts, FAQs, to submit a query, or pre-register for testing.

The company’s social media sites (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter) also provide notifications about site closures. Its handle is @gravitydiagnostics or @gravity_diagnostics

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