Battle Creek is the site of a COVID-19 virus test pop-up site today.  The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is working with Second Missionary Church on North Washington Avenue for the testing. The site will be open from 9 this morning through 5 pm.  There is no charge for the virus test and no appointment is needed.

It’s part of the state’s expanding efforts to get as many Michigan residents tested for the virus as possible. The department has already set up more permanent testing sites at 22 urban locations around the state. One is in Albion on the campus of Albion College at the Washington-Gardner Gymnasium.

The single-day site in Battle Creek is helping the state address what a state task force determined to be racial and ethnic disparities. The state says those issues existed prior to the virus outbreak. But now, have worsened as a result of the COVID issues.

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Along with Albion College hosting a long-term, community test site, others are established in Benton Harbor, Detroit, Ecorse, Flint, Grand Rapids, Graying, Lansing, Niles, Roseville, Saginaw, and Warren. Language translation is offered at all of those sites, in addition to assistance for the deaf and hard of hearing. More than 44,000 people throughout Michigan have been tested so far at the long-term sites going back to the opening of the first in August.

Site staff will be using saliva tests, which most people consider to be less invasive and a bit easier to tolerate than the more common nasal swabs. Appointments are recommended for long-term test sites. They can be scheduled by calling the state’s  COVID-19 hotline at 888-535-6136 and selecting “1,” or, online.

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