Flint's drive-thru coronavirus testing site opening Wednesday morning
(04/14/2020) - A major development coming Wednesday morning, aimed at controlling the coronavirus in Genesee County.
A drive-thru testing site is opening in the heart of Flint. It's another way to get a handle on how this virus is spreading in the city that accounts for nearly half of the county's COVID-19 cases.
It's all part of a statewide goal to ramp up testing in our state, and this site is bringing access to tests for those who need it most.
Kettering University's Atwood Stadium has a rich history of supporting the community with concerts, 5K races, and service events. Now, in the time of the coronavirus outbreak, they're making sure local residents have access to adequate resources, partnering up with the Hurley Medical Center to provide drive-thru testing.
"A big part of our mission is access to healthcare, and so in the eye of this outbreak, I think we feel, along with many of our other community partners, it necessary to do whatever we can to support surveillance of the community and figure out just perhaps how prolific is this within our community," John Stewart said. Stewart is the Administrator for Emergent Services at Hurley Medical Center.
Outside of Metro Detroit, Genesee County has the next highest number of total cases and deaths throughout the state. On Tuesday, Genesee County joined three other counties, topping 1,000 confirmed positive cases. Of those thousand-plus cases, 40% come from the city of Flint.
"Flint is the most segregated city in the state of Michigan and the second most segregated county. Flint is an island in the sea of Genesee County, and we have to make sure that our partners recognize there is a disparity in wealth, in medical access, in education," Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley said.
Mayor Neeley says he's taking the proactive approach to fight for his citizens, declaring a state of emergency, instilling a curfew, and now opening a drive-thru testing site.
This is just the first wave, though, and Neeley says he plans to expand.
"We're working to put more sites in the northern portions of our community, where the low to moderate income families live, providing access and trying to put the resources and dollars there to make it available, so people that don't have a primary care physician can get access to testing," Neeley said.
Testing will take place on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of Kettering University's Atwood Stadium.
You must be symptomatic and you must call the hotline to make an appointment: Hurley's hotline can be reached at 810-262-3685.