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Sparrow opens new primary drive-thru testing site in Lansing

(WILX)
Published: May. 15, 2020 at 4:57 PM EDT
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Sparrow is opening a new drive-thru testing site in Lansing.

The health chain plans to close the other two locations and primarily work out of the new one.

The old Sears Auto Center is being turned into a new COVID-19, antibody testing site.

James Dover, Sparrow Hospital President said, "They drive up, give their information, we check it, draw them, they never step out of the car and then they drive off. So really we see this as a way of the future and it's not something we're walking away from."

The new site will provide COVID-19 and antibody testing.

Testing for COVID-19 antibodies is a new kind of tests.

According to Jon Baker, Administrator Director of Laboratories at Sparrow, the test detects if a person has developed antibodies to the COVID-19 virus.

It doesn't check for the actual virus but can detect if someone had COVID-19 in the past.

The site also provides another laboratory testing.

Baker said, "So we started also a drive-thru phlebotomy station where you can get your blood drawn and not worry about going in a waiting room."

While the site can provide phlebotomy stations, it's not a makeshift hospital.

Dover said, "Certain types of lab work has to be done inside the hospital lab but a lot of routine sort of outpatient laboratory will be able to be done as well."

Sparrow currently has two drive-thru testing sites but felt the new one would be more efficient.

Dover said, "We needed a better place than the outdoors. So seven bays, sears had drive in one side, climate control, drive out the other side. We just see this as a really elegant solution."

Gillespie Group owns the Sears building and they were able to work with Sparrow to give them the facility pro bono.

Within two weeks Sparrow was able to move into the new location.

Currently, crews are in there working to get the site ready to open.

Sparrow said the new location will be opening Monday at 6 a.m.

The site will be open Monday-Saturday.

It will not be open on Sundays.

COVID-19 and antibody testing will be available until 10 p.m., while regular lab testing will available until 6 p.m.

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