Story By Senior Airman Tristan D. Viglianco
Michigan National Guard
FLINT, Mich. -- The Michigan National Guard provided free, drive-thru Covid-19 testing for Flint and Genesee County residents, July 9-10. In an effort to help slow the spread of the virus, the 182nd Task Force deployed 27 Air National Guardsmen to the Shiloh Missionary Church in partnership with the Genesee County health department and other state agencies. “It’s great to have the National Guard out here helping us with testing,” Jean Troop, Genesee Health System health center deputy director. “They set up to do the testing part and we support them. As a health system we have done mobile testing for homeless shelters and group homes, but being able to hold community events, which have no cost to the public is fabulous.” According to Air Force Staff Sgt. Stephanie Holdridge, 110th Logistics Readiness Squadron command and control support, the teams had approximately 1,000 Covid-19 nasal swab tests available. The swabs are designed to help identify positive cases, so the individuals can follow the proper protocol and quarantine. “The goal is to test everyone in the community who volunteers to be tested and flatten the curve,” said Holdridge. “After today our team will have tested more than 11,000 people since May 3.” The testing allows community members to drive up to the testing area and receive a test without leaving their vehicles. “It is a great opportunity to interact with the community and provide them with service they need,” said Chief Master Sgt. Charles Halt, 217th Air Operations Group team supervisor. “It is helping give people peace of mind.” This testing site was part of an ongoing effort by the Michigan National Guard to partner with a variety of state agencies to provide no cost Covid-19 tests to Michigan residents.