Drive-up COVID-19 testing site opens in Shelby.

April 28, 2020

Drive-up COVID-19 testing site opens in Shelby.

SHELBY — Northwest Michigan Health Services, Inc. and District Health Department #10 announced a new partnership to open a testing site at the community health center clinic in Shelby across from the street from Mercy Health Partners Lakeshore campus.

The site will be open Wednesday, April 29, and interested individuals should call the clinic’s COVID testing hotline for an appointment at 231-642-5292. Testing is being offered to those with symptoms of COVID and to essential workers without symptoms as supplies are available.

Testing will be performed Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., by appointment only.

“As a federally qualified health center, we are here to serve the community,” said Heidi Britton, CEO Northwest Michigan Health Services. “We have re-tooled our organization quickly through this crisis, with the goal of continuing to meet the needs of our patients. We started providing telemedicine visits, created a dedicated COVID stress warmline staffed with behavioral health therapists, and are continuing to provide emergency dental services. We recognized the gap in testing services and are happy to be able to step in to meet that need for the community. At this time of crisis, we are ready to be part of the community’s emergency response.”

The Shelby clinic drive-through testing site is Northwest Michigan Health Services’ second such testing site.

“Our first test site in Traverse City was opened April 13, and appointment slots were immediately filled. We have added appointments each week since then and anticipate that the same will happen at the Shelby testing site. We’re receiving a lot of calls from people in the community wanting to be tested or needing testing for employment,” said Britton.

Northwest is one of 11 community health centers across the state that is working with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to increase testing. Locally, Northwest will work alongside the District Health Department #10 to operate a new drive-through testing site for COVID-19 in Shelby at Northwest’s clinic at 119 S. State Street.

“DHD#10 recognizes the importance of increasing the capacity for testing locally and is happy to collaborate with our partners to create this additional testing opportunity,” said Kevin Hughes, Health Officer for District Health Department #10. DHD#10 is contributing staff and other support to the testing site.

“We are hopeful that with Michigan’s relaxed testing criteria and the increased availability of testing we will be better able to recognize the prevalence of COVID-19 in our community and thereby decrease the person-to-person spread of this disease,” notes Timothy Lambert, DO, Medical Director for Northwest Michigan Health Services. “Until now it has been a challenge to do the kind of widespread testing that will really help in curbing spread.”

In addition to supporting widespread testing efforts, Michiganders who call the state’s COVID-19 hotline and need a referral to a provider will be directed to their local community health center. As a community health center, Northwest Michigan Health Services provides care to everyone, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. The Shelby clinic offers medical, dental and behavioral health services all under one roof to all members of the community.

“We’re proud to be serving on the frontlines of COVID-19 efforts. This is what community health centers are made to do,” states Heidi Britton.

To learn more about how community health centers in Michigan are responding to COVID-19, visit https://bit.ly/CHCResponse.

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