Pilot program offers travelers in Michigan virus tests at airport, welcome centers

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News
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Michigan is launching a program to offer travelers to the state COVID-19 tests at an airport and two Welcome Centers, officials said Thursday.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Michigan Department of Transportation and select airports have teamed up to offer the pilot program, which aims to curb the spread of the virus.

"As we head into the summer with vaccines ramping up and a light at the end of the tunnel, I am so proud of this partnership to keep (Michiganians) safe," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement. "I encourage all (Michiganians) to continue masking up, socially distancing and hand washing to slow the spread, and if you re-enter or travel across the state, get tested at one of the new sites being set up at key points."

The governor also encourages Michiganians to get vaccinated to help end the pandemic.

Under the pilot program, free testing will be offered at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City and the Michigan Welcome Centers in Dundee and Monroe.

Hours for testing at the airport are 2-10 p.m. Wednesdays, noon-8 p.m. Fridays and 3-11 p.m. Sundays.

Testing at the two welcome centers will begin Friday. Hours at both the Dundee Welcome Center on U.S.-23 and the Monroe Welcome Center on Interstate 75 will be 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Sunday. 

Additional sites will be announced as they are confirmed.  

Travelers will be able to register online for a test at an airport or Welcome Center and walk-ups will be taken as space allows, officials said. Insurance is not required and results can be obtained via text, email or uploaded to a traveler’s patient portal. Results will be available in as little as 15 minutes.

 "With growing concerns of new, more contagious variants, testing for COVID-19 is more important than ever," Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at the state health department, said in a statement. "If you are engaging in any travel, we encourage you to take advantage of this testing when you re-enter or travel across the state."

cramirez@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez

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