Michigan National Guard offers no-cost Covid testing in Sturgis

Members of the Michigan Air National Guard work during a drive-thru Covid-19 testing event in Sturgis, Mich., Sept. 22, 2020. The Michigan National Guard has partnered with a variety of state agencies to provide no cost Covid-19 tests to Michigan residents. (U.S. Air National Guard photo Senior Airman Tristan D. Viglianco)

Story By Senior Airman Tristan D. Viglianco

Michigan National Guard

The Michigan Air National Guard assisted with free COVID-19 testing to residents of Sturgis and nearby communities Sept. 22, 2020.

In an effort to identify risk associated with the virus and help slow the spread, the 182nd Task Force deployed a team comprised of Airmen from Selfridge Air National Guard Base and Battle Creek Air National Guard Base.

“We are doing drive-thru community based testing,” said Senior Airman Daniel Green, 127th Maintenance Squadron maintainer. “A lot of people need to be tested so they can go back to work. We help them out with that.”

According to Green, the team had approximately 300 tests for the event, which took place between 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The Guard members partnered with a local health agency to provide the testing location at Maple Crest Plaza.

“They [the Michigan National Guard] are here to help us with specimen collection for individuals who want to be tested,” said Rebecca Burns, Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency health officer. “We are very thankful for their support. We need them here to make this work.

In addition to the testing in St. Joseph County, the Michigan National Guard provided testing in Alpena and Ottawa counties on the same day.

“When I heard about the testing mission, I wanted to be on it. We have been on this mission for about five months,” said Green. “It is nice to be able to give back to the community.”

There are also four more testing events scheduled throughout the week located in Allegan, Ottawa, Wayne, and Washtenaw counties. Please contact your local health officials for more information.

These testing sites were a 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.

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