Ford Motor Company, Wayne State University, the Wayne State University Physician Group and ACCESS coalition have expanded mobile COVID-19 testing beyond first responders and health care workers. It is now also serving local communities in need as the plague is once again on the rise in Michigan.
Since launching in April, the mobile testing operation has added four Ford Transits – each fully equipped for mobile COVID-19 testing – as clinical test vehicles to conduct and support testing for symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.
More than 10,000 unique individuals have been tested by clinicians from Wayne State University and the Wayne State University Physician Group so far, with community-based services expanded to include antibody testing for COVID-19, HIV testing and blood pressure screenings for people who may have undiagnosed underlying conditions or lack easy access to medical care. Many individuals have also been tested multiple times to ensure they remain healthy and virus-free.
Ford and its in-house incubator Ford X have provided four Ford Transits – each fully equipped for mobile COVID-19 testing – as mobile screening units to conduct and support testing for symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. This includes a Transit that’s been upfitted to provide a better environment for health care workers, with built-in features such as drop-down tables, additional power sources, centrifuges for blood draws, refrigeration and more protective equipment.
Each vehicle is equipped with tents, sanitation, power and Wi-Fi to support mobile testing. Two Lincoln Personal Driver vehicles previously provided by Ford continue to be used to run medical equipment and supplies to the testing sites and lab facilities, and the company continues to consider other ways to expand the fleet.
“As a community nonprofit, we see firsthand that major health disparities exist within the most vulnerable populations. During these trying times, this project has been a heartwarming reminder of the strong bonds of humanity and what can happen when we join hands to battle even the most formidable of challenges,” said ACCESS Chief Operating Officer Lina Hourani-Harajli.
While priority access continues to be given to first responders and others on the front lines of the pandemic, this effort is also providing testing services to local communities at large, serving those who are high risk, those who may have had exposure to the virus, and those who may be asymptomatic. Health care workers are providing tests at locations such as nursing homes, substance abuse centers, homeless/community shelters.
In addition to active virus and antibody testing related to COVID-19, the service has been expanded to include HIV testing and blood pressure screenings. These services have been added to support those who may have high risk for disease in general, underlying conditions, or who may not have access to more traditional health care services.
As part of this program, clinicians and professionals from Wayne State University, the Wayne State University Physician Group and ACCESS are providing free testing that does not require a prescription from a physician. Test results are typically returned within 24 hours.