Detroit-area residents were able to receive a free COVID-19 test Wednesday as a result of a partnership between Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Cross Complete, Wayne State University, the Wayne State University Physician Group and ACCESS. Residents of Detroit’s East Warren/Cadieux neighborhood were invited to make an appointment or walk in for a test Wednesday at the Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit.
Health care workers conduct drive-through testing for COVID-19 Wednesday, May 13, 2020, at Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit. The event was open to anyone interested in a test. No prescriptions for a test were needed, in order to increase access to testing during the pandemic. Results will be returned to the 300 people tested within 24 to 48 hours. The church is located in a neighborhood Blue Cross is committed to re-energizing as part of an investment of $5 million through 2022 to a city fund that will support small businesses, restore streetscapes and preserve affordable housing. Wednesday’s mobile testing event is just one example of the community-based work made possible by a contribution Blue Cross has made to the COVID-19 mobile testing program facilitated by Wayne State and ACCESS. When the mobile testing program launched April 13, it was used to test first responders, health care workers and corrections officers. Now with the contribution from Blue Cross, the program will be able to expand its reach to nursing homes, care facilities, churches and other sites in the Detroit region. Nursing homes and care facilities have been among the hardest hit during the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 has been found in all of Detroit’s nursing homes, and 35% of deaths from COVID-19 in Wayne County occurred in a nursing home. The mobile testing unit uses a fleet of vehicles, drivers and equipment provided by Ford Motor Co. The testing vehicles are Lincoln Navigators equipped with tents, sanitation, power and Wi-Fi to support the mobile testing events. Wayne State and ACCESS provide the medical kits and staff necessary to complete the testing itself. Helping vulnerable populations and improving access to health care continue to be tenets of Blue Cross’ work in communities. We are working to identify and monitor health care disparities in order to effectively address them through policies and programs. For more information on actions Blue Cross is taking during the pandemic, visit bcbsm.com/coronavirus or visit MIBluesPerspectives.com. More from MIBluesPerspectives:
- Blue Cross Works to Address Social Disparities that Impact Health Amid Pandemic
- COVID-19: How to Wear a Mask and Gloves the Right Way
- Meeting the Unique Mental Health Needs of Health Care Workers
Photo credit: Jessica Iloff, BCBSM