DETROIT, MI — Hundreds of health care workers and first responders with coronavirus COVID-19 symptoms are lining up to get tested this weekend, Wayne State University reports.
Wayne State’s Physician Group has teamed up with WSU Health Sciences and the ACCESS Community Health and Research Center to provide drive-through testing in both Detroit and Dearborn this weekend.
Volunteers from the organizations tested 362 health care workers, police officers and firefighters experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 on March 20-21, WSU stated in a news release.
“Wayne State has long played an integral role in the health and well-being of the Detroit community, which is why it’s critical we step up and help test those who are involved in caring for others,” Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson said.
“Testing is an important measure toward controlling the spread of the virus, and we’ve made this drive-through testing process as accessible as possible for those on the front lines of care who have symptoms suggesting that they may be infected.”
Saturday’s testing took place at the Physician Group headquarters at 400 Mack Ave. in Detroit.
Volunteer clinicians and staff from participating organizations and resident physicians from area hospitals manned drive-through stations, conducting brief background and medical history surveys, followed by a simple and quick nasal swab test, according to the WSU news release.
Testing of health care workers and first-responders with COVID-19 symptoms is scheduled to continue at the ACCESS Community Health and Research Center, 6450 Maple St. in Dearborn, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 22.
Testing also is expected to be available at both the Detroit and Dearborn locations from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. starting March 23.
The tests are being offered at no charge and are limited to health care workers, police officers, firefighters and medics from across the region who are displaying COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, cough, shortness of breath or sore throat.
Those tested will be notified of results and care instructions through a secure text message developed in partnership with Patient Education Genius, according to WSU.
WSU Health Sciences purchased equipment to launch the testing program, while the Physician Group is leading the screening effort, which includes health care providers from the Physician Group and professionals from Wayne State’s School of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Social Work and the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
“Our front-line health care workforce is one of our most precious assets in the fight against COVID-19,” Dr. Charles Shanley, Physician Group president and vice dean of clinical affairs at Wayne State’s School of Medicine, said.
“We cannot protect the public without protecting them, as well as the first responders who provide critical support to our health care system, and protect public safety.”
Lina Hourani-Harajli, chief operating officer at ACCESS, said the partnership is essential to help reduce the pressure on already overwhelmed hospital systems.
“Our hope is to provide support to those who are putting themselves at risk to help contain this virus so they may return to their service roles as quickly as possible,” she said.
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