Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center providing free COVID-19 testing to smaller communities

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GWINN, Mich. (WLUC) - On Wednesday, the Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center (UGL) used their resources to bring free COVID-19 testing to Gwinn after realizing its need in smaller communities.

"We've been trying to find locations where there are lower testing numbers being done to bring the tests out to the people who might not have transportation to get into a larger area," said UGL Outreach Coordinator, Michaela McKeen.

By traveling to lower populated areas, the health center hopes it will provide more access to those who want to get tested.

"They're thankful that we're doing it so today especially we have a great turnout expected," said McKeen.

About 40 people arrived at Gilbert Elementary School's parking lot throughout Wednesday to experience a similar, yet small change in the free testing process.

At previous testing sites, it was more of a drive-thru process. But in Gwinn, people needed to call a number to register and then schedule an appointment before actually getting a test.

"We have patients either they're our patients or they can be not our patients or anyone really can come and get a free test," said UGL Nurse Practitioner, Emily Starr.

After receiving confirmation from the nurse, who also asked general health questions, patients arrived to the testing site to receive the nasal swab.

"I think the more people that we get tested gives our community a better look at who's sick, who isn't sick and hopes that it can go back to the state, and keep our area open for business," said Starr.

Next Wednesday, the health center will visit Felch to give free COVID-19 testing to those interested.