IMLAY CITY — In an effort to meet the immediate health needs of local residents, Total Urgent Care, 147 N. Almont Ave., is now offering “curbside” COVID-19 virus testing.
Briana Arter, RMA/Manager of the downtown Imlay City location, said the tests, which are covered by most insurances, involve a simple throat swab.
She said test results will be subject to laboratory diagnostics and be known within 24-72 hours.
The curbside testing is being conducted by Total Urgent Care staff Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Arter said the tests are being administered to eligible individuals who are experiencing fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, body aches, fatigue, sore throat, chest heaviness and other flu-like symptoms.
The facility is also testing individuals who think they may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19; potentially exposed healthcare workers; and those who need clearance to return to work.
“We’re doing the curbside testing so we are not exposing people in a crowded waiting room,” Arter said.
She said Total Urgent Care staff will come to the patient’s vehicle attired in full personal protection equipment (PPE) and first take the patient’s temperature and blood pressure and pulse readings.
Dr. Jabir Akhtar, through the process of telemedicine, will ascertain if the individual needs testing for COVID-19.
Arter explained that based on Dr. Akhtar’s assessment, she administers the swab testing, which is then sent out to Helix Diagnostic laboratory for analysis and diagnosis.
Arter said the curbside testing program in Imlay City was initiated on Wednesday (April 8), with nearly immediate response.
“We had about 30 patients drive up for assistance on the first day,” she said.
Arter and her fellow staff at Total Urgent Care are pleased to be able to offer the much-needed testing during an unprecedented time.
“I feel it’s an honor and accomplishment for us to be one of the few sites in Lapeer County that is now testing for COVID-19,” Arter said. “We thank Helix Diagnostics and the Lapeer County Health Department for providing us the proper PPE for our staff; and for making this testing available to better serve our local community.”
Born and raised in Imlay City, Arter, 28, said it is satisfying to see so many people taking the coronavirus seriously and following the protocol to minimize its spread.
“It’s all about sticking together and coming together as a community to get through these challenging times,” Arter said. “I urge everyone to please practice social distancing, to stay home if you don’t need to be out, and to practice good hygeine.
“That means handwashing, sanitizing, disinfecting everyday objects and seeking medical attention if needed,” she said.
For further information about Total Urgent Care’s “curbside” COVID-19 virus testing, contact Arter or Medical Assistant Shelby Kosek at 810-721-7640.
Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.