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Northern Michigan doctor has faster coronavirus test

Face masks are just one of the personal protection items greatly needed. (MGN Image)
Face masks are just one of the personal protection items greatly needed. (MGN Image)(WLUC)
Published: Mar. 25, 2020 at 4:43 PM EDT
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A doctor in Northern Michigan is conducting a different kind of test for the coronavirus that has a quicker process and is approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Instead of using the "kits" that are being sent to hospitals, the Northern Michigan Medical Center in Petoskey is using supplies that are readily available in doctor's offices. The supplies include a plastic syringe, saline and a sterile cup.

The test consists of squirting saline in your nose, swishing it around and draining it into the cup.

The medical director said this allows testing to be done sooner and reduces the amount of personal protective gear worn.

"So any protective equipment, you're wearing the goggles, the mask, the gloves, the gown, that all has to be thrown away, washed and sterilized and so forth. Using the technique that we've developed, they can obtain the specimen in their own car. It's actually very, very simple. We have a video they observe, and we take them out to their car where the medical providers re-explain it to them, then watches them through the car windows and make sure they're doing it properly," said Dr. Gustav Lo, Northern Michigan Medical Center director.

Dr. Gustav said if you're experiencing coronavirus symptoms, you should still call your doctor first before showing up anywhere to get tested.

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