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Sparrow expands drive-thru testing for COVID-19

Union members working for Sparrow Health System vote in favor of striking, if needed
Posted at 5:29 AM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 06:52:08-04

LANSING, Mich. — It's now getting easier for more people to get checked for COVID-19, with Sparrow becoming the latest to offer expanded drive-thru testing.

"There are asymptomatic patients that are there within our community that are still capable of infecting others, but they themselves might not be currently aware they are carrying the virus," said Medical Director Dr. James Richard of Sparrow Laboratories.

He said if you can get tested you should, especially if you're an essential worker. But that list has now grown to include others.

"Anybody who has had a significant degree of contact. Somebody who has taken care of someone who is susceptible, such as someone who has an immuno-compromised situation," Richard said.

Richard said the lab is currently processing about 500 tests a day and results are usually given within 24 hours.

"That's still not enough. We still need to see more individuals coming through the testing centers and getting tested."

Part of the reasoning to get more people tested is to help answer some of the largest mysteries that still remain with the virus, Richard said.

"How prevalent the disorder has been in our community, and two, it will help us identify aspects of immunity. Is it short-lived? Is it longer? We just don't know that yet."

Not everyone tested needs a note from a doctor, like Medicare patients who can get a test at either of Sparrow's two locations.

Despite not needing a doctor's note, Richard suggests you talk to your physician about getting the test anyway.

"The results of that test, you want to go somewhere that's going to be followed for you."

Those results could potentially make all the difference a year from now.

"We'll have some information on whether or not your immunity status is good or one that we need to be concerned with," he said.

The two drive-up locations are:
- Sparrow St. Lawrence Campus, 1210 W. Saginaw St., Lansing. Hours are daily, 6 a.m. to midnight.
- Physicians Health Plan, 1400 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Sparrow said it also offers COVID-19 testing to employers who contract with Sparrow Occupational Health. Those workers may include employees returning to work at grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, and newly reopened big box stores. You should contact your employer to get tested.

You can read more about testing from Sparrow's website here.

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