Gov. Whitmer announces neighborhood COVID-19 testing sites as state reports more than 500 new cases


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks during a news conference in Lansing on Aug. 19, 2020. (Courtesy: Michigan Executive Office of the Governor)

Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — Governor Whitmer, Lt. Gov. Gilchrist II and Dr. Joenigh Khaldun updated Michiganders on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic today, stressing the importance of getting tested for COVID-19 following last week’s Centers for Disease Control modification of COVID-19 testing recommendations.

The CDC changed course after President Trump in June asked that testing be scaled back and slowed down. Now, the CDC website no longer recommends people who’ve come in contact with someone COVID-19 positive to get tested.
Gov. Whitmer today re-emphasized the importance of getting tested.

Today, the state health department reported another day of 500-plus new cases of COVID-19 bringing the state total to 103,710 cases and 6,509 deaths.

“Testing is absolutely front and center,” she said.

Emphasizing the importance of testing, Gov. Whitmer announced that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will partner with 12 neighborhood testing sites by the end of this week and more than 20 neighborhoods across the state in the coming weeks.

Lt. Gov Gilchrist II said almost every insurance provider has agreed to provide COVID-19 testing at no cost and for those who don’t have health insurance, free testing is available to them as well.

“Until everyone who needs a test, gets a test, we still have work to do,” Lt. Gov Gilchrist said.

Gov. Whitmer in her speech addressed her meeting with White House Coronavirus Task Force Director Deborah Brix, with whom she requested a couple of things from the federal government in combating the spread of COVID-19.

Gov Whitmer asked for a national mask mandate and full funding of the Michigan National Guard to help in testing at nursing home facilities and correctional facilities and prisons.

The national mask mandate, Gov. Whitmer said is “the safest thing we can do to prevent COVID-19.”

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