Getting a COVID-19 Test Near Me



When I googled, “Getting a COVID-19 Test Near Me”, over 2 weeks ago, I had a bad sore throat, a cough, and fatigue.  Since I am running as a candidate for State Representative, I felt I should know if I was COVID-19 positive.  

I had read in the local papers that Memorial Healthcare in my town of Owosso was at the forefront of COVID-19 testing.  So I called them up.  I asked, “how can I schedule a free COVID-19 test?”, and to my surprise, they said there were no “free” tests at Memorial and that it would cost $110.  I was shocked since I had heard that tests were available for free in mid-Michigan.  I asked her, “Ok, if you don’t offer free tests, where can I go to get one?”  She said to her knowledge there wasn’t anywhere close for free testing.

“Where do I get a FREE COVID test near me” was my next Google search, and I ended up on https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/. I had to select the “free test” option with a larger radius of 10 miles to get any results: Rite Aid Pharmacy in Swartz Creek - 16.5 miles away. I then scheduled the first appointment I could for 3 days later, with results that came another 7 days later (negative, thankfully).  It was a total of 10 days of being unsure if I was contagious and canceling campaign events, social outings, doctor appointments, etc.

Throughout the entire process, I kept thinking of those I am hoping to represent and wondering how they are getting tests.  Are they paying?  People I asked had similar stories to mine, but instead of driving so far, they opted to pay $50 at a local Urgent Care that returned the results in 2 days.

I have multiple concerns.  Foremost, not everyone can afford $50, much less $110, and secondly, not everyone has a car.  What does someone do who can’t drive outside of the community to get tested?  

Today I googled "Memorial Healthcare CEO" and got "Brian Long" and I asked, "Why isn't Memorial offering FREE COVID testing to the community?"  After several redirects and long holds, his administrative assistant said it was a good question and she would try to get back to me with the reason. I am still waiting for the call back...

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