CADILLAC — The Michigan National Guard will continue its partnership with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan State Police, and local health departments when COVID-19 testing is offered Tuesday and Wednesday in Cadillac.
From 2-7 p.m. Tuesday and from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday, Baker College of Cadillac, 9600 E. 13th St., is hosting the clinic in its parking lot.
If a person wants to get the free test, they need to be 18 or older and bring a picture ID. No appointment is necessary and it is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Although the clinic is being held in Cadillac, it is open to everyone regardless of where they live.
The free tests are not limited to people showing symptoms of COVID-19 but do only test to determine a person's current COVID-19 status. The clinic also is not conducting antibody testing.
The testing method for the COVID-19 test is a nasopharyngeal swab, which is a long cotton-tipped swab that is inserted into the nose.
The test results will take 7-9 days and each person who is tested will receive instructions for logging in to BioReference Laboratories Patient Portal to obtain their results.
A person will only be contacted by the health department if their results are positive for COVID-19.
District Health Department No. 10 Public Information Officer Jeannine Taylor said the National Guard is providing the actual testing services and not the health department. She said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has implemented the increased testing effort in communities where it was previously limited due to various factors including lack of testing supplies.
While the focus is on COVID-19, Taylor said the health department also will be offering the hepatitis A vaccination at the site on Tuesday and Wednesday. While the COVID-19 test is free, Taylor said the hepatitis A test will be billed through a person's insurance.
"We (DHD No. 10) coordinated this. While people are there, we can provide the (hepatitis A ) vaccine since our offices have been closed and we are not able to offer it," she said. "There are still hepatitis A cases in the state and we wanted to provide (the vaccine) as an offering at this site."
She said moving forward the plan is to offer the hepatitis A vaccines at future COVID-19 testing sites within District Health Department No. 10's jurisdiction, but that will be dependent on the availability of the vaccine.
At the most recent COVID-19 testing site within the health department's boundaries last week in Manistee, Taylor said more than 600 people were tested for the virus.
This drive-through testing site will feature additional resources, such as information for those interested in joining the Michigan National Guard and resources for veterans.
The National Guard has been engaged in the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic through widespread testing and screening, distribution of personal protective equipment, and assistance at numerous food banks across the state. The community testing initiative is a continuation of those efforts.
Similar testing has been held in 27 other communities over the past six weeks.
For more information about the testing call (231) 305-8659 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.