Local groups cooperate to provide COVID-19 testing in at-risk communities
The Ingham County Health Department and Michigan State University Health Care, along with other partners, are working together to conduct tests for the novel coronavirus in areas where testing is not readily available.
“Widespread testing is a large component of addressing the pandemic. While there are multiple testing sites, nearly all are drive-up; and not everyone in our community has access to a vehicle,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail. “When MSU Health Care told us their testing operation could be set up in other locations, it opened up a lot of possibilities. By combining our resources we can bring testing to members of our community that may not otherwise have access to testing.”
The first mobile test site was in south Lansing. The health department identified the 48911 area as at-risk for the continued spread of the virus because of its high number of cases.
In three hours, ICHD and MSU teams tested more than 110 people. Community members also received information on how to stay safe and healthy while preventing the spread of the virus. Test results are private and will be communicated directly to each individual by an ICHD representative.
“Disparities in access to health care based on income are especially apparent in this pandemic. We also know that people of color are being disproportionality impacted,” said Kristine Allen, chief nursing officer for MSU Health Care. “Efforts and partnerships like this allow us to address unmet health care needs and health inequities made evident by COVID-19. Working together we can expand our reach and better support our communities.”
Other partners in the effort include the City of Lansing, City of Lansing Police Department, Ingham County Emergency Preparedness, Refugee Development Center, Sparrow Laboratories and St. Vincent Catholic Charities.
Planning is underway for additional mobile testing events.