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Michigan National Guard conducts statewide, no-cost coronavirus testing

Michigan National Guard teams up with Mercy Health and the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency to provide free coronavirus testing in Muskegon Heights, Michigan on Saturday, May 23, 2020. (Alison Zywicki |mlive.com/TNS)
September 24, 2020

People across the state who are seeking coronavirus testing can check their status this week with the help of the Michigan National Guard for no cost.

The Michigan National Guard announced in a news release Tuesday, Sept. 22, that it will continue its partnership with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and local health departments to offer coronavirus testing this week in the communities of Allegan, Alpena, Holland, Sturgis, Taylor and Ypsilanti.

The Michigan National Guard has more than 20 trained testing teams able to assist with community coronavirus testing initiatives. These three-member teams include a certified medic to conduct the testing and two members to help with paperwork, logistics, and non-medical tasks, the release said.

All team members from the Michigan National Guard have tested negative for COVID-19 and have been following strict medical protocols to ensure health and safety and to protect Michigan communities, the release said.

“Since March, members of the Michigan National Guard have performed more than 600 community-based missions in 81 of 83 Michigan counties as part of our state’s response to COVID-19. This includes COVID-19 testing support for more than 290 long-term care facilities throughout Michigan, 7 million pounds of food distributed at local food banks, and more than 106,000 COVID-19 tests administered as part of community based testing initiatives,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, Adjutant General and Director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

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“COVID-19 is still a very real threat to our state and widespread testing remains one of the best ways communities can assess their level of risk for the disease,” Rogers said.

In August, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said President Donald Trump granted her request to authorize National Guard members help with the pandemic response through Dec. 31.

“Since COVID-19 was first discovered in our state, the Michigan National Guard has been a crucial part of our emergency response, from conducting testing and screening, distributing personal protective equipment, and assisting at food banks across the state” Whitmer said in an Aug. 4 statement.

The community testing initiative is a continuation of those efforts, the Tuesday news release said. Similar testing has been held in more than 50 communities over the past three months.

Some tests were performed Tuesday. Upcoming testing locations include:

Allegan: Thursday, Sept. 24, 9 a.m. to noon, 3255 122nd Street, Allegan.

Holland 2: Friday, Sept. 25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Holland Fire Station #2, 12169 James Street, Holland.

Taylor: Saturday, Sept. 26, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Taylor Sportsplex, 13333 Telegraph Road.

Ypsilanti: Saturday, Sept. 26, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Ypsilanti District Library, 5577 Whittaker Road.

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