FLINT — Genesee Health System will launch a mobile testing unit to help increase COVID-19 testing availability, especially in hard-to-reach Flint neighborhoods.
Details are still being worked out, but mobile testing was expected to start last week. The testing sites will be operated by the staff of Genesee Health System and Genesee Community Health Center, a federally qualified health center operated by GHS. Access and location information will be distributed once finalized.
“Genesee Health System has been serving Genesee County for more than 50 years. While this type of testing isn’t our typical service, we have the necessary expertise on staff and understand just how important testing is in our fight against this deadly disease,” said Danis Russell, CEO of Genesee Health System.
The focus of the mobile testing unit will be to target outreach into populations identified through the Flint Water Crisis as areas where traditional community outreach wasn’t effective. The mobile testing unit will increase the opportunity for education about COVID-19 as well as increase accessibility to testing.
Genesee Health System staff includes providers who can communicate in Spanish and American Sign Language.
“Heroes are like teas, you never know how strong they are until they are placed in hot water,” Mayor Sheldon Neeley said. “No one could reasonably expect our community mental health providers to be frontline fighters against coronavirus, but here they are. They are heroes.”
A partnership between the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Genesee County Health Department, the Genesee County Emergency Operations Center, medical providers, and the City of Flint is working to increase testing locally.
Genesee Health System is one of two additional testing sites expected to open in the next week. Hamilton Community Health Network also plans to open drive-through testing soon. Additional details will be released when they are available.
Hurley Medical Center began offering the area’s first drive-through testing option on April 15. Hurley provides drive-through testing by appointment on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at Atwood Stadium. Call 810-262-3685.