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Free drive-thru virus testing Sunday for Detroit, Dearborn first responders

Kim Kozlowski
The Detroit News

Health care workers and first responders in Detroit and Dearborn with symptoms of COVID-19 can get a free virus screening Sunday.

The Wayne State University Physician Group is partnering with  WSU Health Sciences and social service organization ACCESS to provide drive-thru screening from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at ACCESS Community Health and Research Center, 6450 Maple St., Dearborn.

Volunteer clinicians are providing nasal tests at no charge 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.

“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,” said Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson.

“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.”

The testing comes as the COVID-19 coronavirus has created a global pandemic, the number cases in Michigan has grown to 787 as of Saturday, and the virus has claimed the lives of eight people in the state.

Additionally, five Detroit police officers have contracted the virus and another 152 are quarantined.

The service was offered on Friday and Saturday, and tested 362 health care workers, police officers and firefighters who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

It will continue 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday at ACCESS in Dearborn and the WSU Physician Group headquarters at 400 Mack Ave. in Detroit.  

The collaboration was brought together by individuals from across the region and is lead by Dr. Phillip Levy, chief innovation officer, Wayne State University Physician Group, and assistant vice president, Wayne State University and Dr. Teena Chopra, corporate medical director of infection prevention, hospital epidemiology and antibiotic stewardship, WSU, ACCESS and the Detroit Medical Center.

“As a nonprofit anchored in 49 years of service, ACCESS feels this partnership is essential to help reduce the pressure on our already overwhelmed hospital systems and test those most critical to getting ahead of this pandemic,” said Lina Hourani-Harajli, chief operating officer, ACCESS. “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.”