St. Joe’s is offering curbside COVID screening and testing in Ypsilanti

The City of Ypsilanti issued a news release earlier today saying that St. Joe’s had started doing curbside screening and testing for COVID-19 at 5360 McAuley Drive, in Ypsilanti. Here’s the content of the release.

The Curbside COVID Screening and Testing Area at the St. Joseph Mercy campus in Ann Arbor offers COVID-19 screening and testing for patients that meet the CDC and State of Michigan testing criteria. A physician’s order is NOT required for screening; however, if you have a doctor’s order for testing, please bring that prescription with you.

WHEN: Open 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., seven days a week
WHERE: Screening/Testing Area is located at the Outpatient Surgery entrance on the campus of St. Joe’s
HOW: Drive through screening/testing – Folks can stay in their vehicles.
WHO: Open to the public, no prescreen or appointment is necessary.

We are offering this service to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the risk to patients and their families. If you have any questions, please call: 734-712-0918

The notice ended with a link to the CDC requirements for testing, which I took to mean that they weren’t going to be testing just anyone, but only those who met the specific criteria for testing as put forward by the CDC. Just to be sure, I called the number listed, and confirmed that was the case. And, yes, they will only be testing those who either have a prescription for a test, or have trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, bluish coloration of the lips or face, or either “new confusion” or the “inability to arouse.” I also asked, as it wasn’t clear from the release, whether or not there would be charges for the tests they conduct.

What I was told — and I’d encourage any of you who want to visit St. Joe’s for a test to call first and confirm this for yourselves — is that “screening” is being done free of charge, but there will be a lab fee for those having “testing” done, assuming one doesn’t have sufficient insurance coverage. When I asked how much that might be, the woman I spoke with couldn’t tell me. I asked, if I came in tomorrow, went through the screening, got cleared for testing, and had no insurance at all, how much I would be charged for the test. The woman I spoke with couldn’t give me an answer. She wouldn’t even give me a ballpark. She just said that this was new for them, and they were trying to find ways to make community screening more affordable. When I asked how one would know if free screening were to become available, she said that the hospital would likely put out a release. And, when I asked how those of us in the community would know about this, she said that it would probably be mentioned on the hospital’s social media accounts. As I’ve checked all of their accounts [Facebook, Twitter, Instagram], and haven’t seen any mention of the drive-in testing location in Ypsilanti, I’m thinking that you might be better served by just calling the number listed above, rather than waiting for social media updates on community testing.

Lest anyone think I’m being critical of St. Joe’s handling of this, I’m not. I’m a fan of St. Joe’s. [I was hospitalized there briefly a few years ago, and they were great to me.] I know rolling-out programs like this must be incredibly tricky, and I’m just happy that, now 30 days into the Michigan outbreak, we finally have drive-up testing here in Ypsilanti, one of our state’s most hardest hit communities.

Here, by the way, is where we currently are in Michigan, with 2,0346 diagnosed cases, and 959 dead. [This graph of Michigan Health Department data comes courtesy of WDIV Detroit.]

Again, it shouldn’t be taken as a slam against St. Joe’s, as the federal government, in my opinion, has infinitely more responsibility for the situation that we now find ourselves in — and I think St. Joe’s is to be commended for stepping up as a private institution and joining in this fight, doing what they can to expand community testing — but it bears repeating that, while both the United States and South Korea had their first confirmed cases of COVID-19 on January 20, South Korea was already rolling out free, fast testing across the country by March 15. And here we are, almost a full month later, just beginning to offer curbside testing in Ypsilanti, and still not quite having a handle on how to do it for free, it would seem. [Free testing is imperative, as we want to know who has COVID-19, so that we can help them to self-isolate, and slow the spread the disease.]

The following video is a bit dated, but it offers a good comparison between South Korea and the United States from January 20 through late March.

With all of that said, I hope that, with increased local testing, we might finally be able to make some positive headway toward curbing the outbreak here in Ypsilanti. If you know people who you think might have the virus, and they’re in a demographic that puts them at increased risk, please encourage them to get tested. [If they aren’t in a high risk demographic, and they seem to be weathering the illness OK by themselves in isolation, there’s no reason to go out, be tested, and subject others to possible infection.]

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  1. John Brown
    Posted April 9, 2020 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    When the extraordinary societal effort slows transmission, as predicted and demanded by the Public Health community, Agent Orange and his fellow traitors will spin this slowing as evidence of the libtards overreacting.

  2. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 9, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Aloha this is a great chart showing daily causes of death in US and where Covid 19 ranks.

    Wife just informed me that all UM events are cancelled through at least July 6

  3. Lynne
    Posted April 9, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I am hoping we can get widespread antibody testing. It is apparently a simple test that can return results in minutes. It will identify those who have already had COVID-19. Stanford is using those tests to determine if one reason that California has had so many fewer cases is herd immunity. The theory is that the virus has been here longer than other places and thus, people may have already had it. We will see!

  4. Anonymous
    Posted April 9, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    All that we can say with some certainty is that circulating antibodies indicate an immune response to prior infection. It does not necessarily indicate immunity, although that is the hope. We don’t know enough yet. Not enough to recommend no N-95 masks for health care workers that have positive serological results, anyway. There are many viruses where antibody titers correspond to immunity, but also many that do not. Like HIV.

  5. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 9, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, don’t know if this will effect the St. Joe operation

  6. Anonymous
    Posted April 9, 2020 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    On the subject of testing.

    CNN’s Jim Acosta: “How can the administration discuss the possibility of re-opening the country when the administration does not have an adequate nationwide testing system for this virus? Don’t you need a nationwide testing system?”

    Trump: “No. We have a great testing system.”

  7. Jean Henry
    Posted April 9, 2020 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Well non eof that matters because the home gardeners are up in arms (or pitchforks) because the Governor closed the gardening centers as non-essential. They are all claiming they depend on gardening for their food. My family of 6 raised almost all the vegetables and fruit we ate growing up and I never saw my dad go to a gardening center for anything but tools. People buy pansies at gardening centers. And mulch and compost and things poor people and serious farmers don’t buy at the store. Meanwhile underpaid service workers are making less risking their lives than they would on unemployment now.

    Ps I think they should close restaurants too. The loans aren’t going to come in fast enough to make payroll this month. (Plus I suspect small businesses with huge payrolls like hedge funds will be sucking up those loans and payroll grants because they are administered through banks) And again most workers are better off on unemployment.

  8. Jean Henry
    Posted April 9, 2020 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Anonymous– What so you think the likelihood is of sequential outbreaks of this thing that aren’t contained and require more mass shutdowns?

    Because if that’s a strong possibility then it’s something small businesses need to factor in to their decision making.

  9. Jean Henry
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    I don’t know where to place this but it seems like an important correction of the record on Chinese wet markets. Lots of fear-mongering going around. I’ve definitely seen worse state side and in restaurant kitchens.

  10. Jean Henry
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Middle of March: Norway enacts ‘most far-reaching measures Norway’s population has ever experienced in peacetime’ to stop the spread of the virus, closing schools and universities, shuttering the ports and airports, closing restaurants and shops, banning gatherings and events.
    They began an expansive testing and quarantine regime- the 3rd best in terms of tests per capita in the world.
    Sweden suggested people use good judgement and sought to create ‘herd immunity’ to the novel coronavirus.
    Saturday March 28th:
    Norway: 3770 cases, 19 deaths
    Sweden: 3060 cases, 105 deaths
    Norway: 6219 cases, 108 deaths
    Sweden 9685 cases, 870 deaths
    Norway just announced that schools and universities will begin reopening at the end of the month. Events are still banned until June 15th. “Norway has managed to gain control of the virus. The job now is to keep that control,” Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said. The changes will be implemented over time in a controlled manner, she added.
    Sweden is about to go on lockdown.

  11. Jean Henry
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    And in Ann Arbor garden hobbyists are up in arms because they can’t go to Lowe’s. They are texting ‘GREEN’ to the MI Farm Bureau en mass to oppose the governors shut down of garden centers.

    The Farm Bureau is a big ag insurance and finance operation with political lobbying infrastructure in every state. Its logo and name makes it look like a state agency.

    So tons of liberal people think they are advocating for local farms and garden centers (Which are excluded from the governors shut down) when all they are doing is advocating for their corporate competition. And against workers. And giving their personal info over to a right-wing lobbying firm (Ok. they supported Stabenow once when she was head of the ag committee…) that now has permission to contact them whenever.

    Who needs the Russians?

    Shut all but grocery shops down. Close the parks. Get people off the rivers. Stay home.

  12. Anonymous
    Posted April 11, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    I think that things are improving from a new case standpoint for the current situation. The death rate peak runs about two weeks behind the new case peak. But of course, flattening the curve also means drawing out the curve over time. I expect that as restrictions are loosened up that the rate of new cases appearing will also go up, in which social restrictions will be tightened again.

  13. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 11, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Aloha, lots of uncertainty concerning COVID19. Read of a German research group that surveyed a hot spot. In randomized testing of 1000 inhabitants of town, they found that 15% of inhabitants had virus, most with no symptoms. Estimate it would take year long lock down to control virus.

    Also there is growing evidence that those who are symptomatic can suffer permanent lung damage.

  14. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Aloha, article on lingering effects of Covid19. And our moron in chief just wanted the virs to “wash over the country”.

  15. Anonymous
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    The likely policy for COVID-19.

  16. Jean Henry
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    These updates from a thoracic surgeon at Columbia U Irving Medical Center in NYC are beautifully written and enlightening re the progress of the Pandemic in NYC. They will make a useful history some day in The future when this too has passed.

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