More COVID-19 testing brought to Upper Michigan

Published: Jun. 24, 2020 at 3:43 PM EDT
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The Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center is providing COVID-19 testing to small towns that otherwise might not have access.

“Our main focus,” said Emily Starr, a registered nurse, “…is to get out into the smaller communities that may not have the ability to travel, may not want to come into some of the bigger, larger communities, so we're really just kind of focusing in on that.”

Wednesday, in Felch, they had 30 people drive up to get tested at North Dickinson School. This is an optimistic turnout and fulfills the health center's goal laid out by their Chief Operating Officer, Shannon Richter. This goal also comes from both the Marquette County and Western U.P. health departments.

“By working with them, what we're trying to accomplish is getting as many people tested as possible,” Richter explained.

According to Richter, many rural areas have limited access to transportation. And with social distancing, fewer people are willing to gather in large areas.

“So we're bringing the testing to all those communities and have just low testing numbers,” she said.

The processing of COVID-19 tests has quickened. Results return within five to seven days after testing.

They hope that more people get tested as they continue to travel throughout Upper Michigan.

“The more testing we do the better off we are as a state to know who's sick, who isn't sick, and kind of go from there,” explained Starr.

The Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center will be hosting similar testing in Iron River Thursday. To register or to find out more information, please call 844-947-4854.

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