Hope Community Church to serve as COVID-19 testing site

NILES — A Niles church will serve as a community COVID-19 testing site starting Wednesday.

Hope Community Church, 2390 Lake St., Niles, is one of five additional neighborhood testing sites opening this week, bringing the total number of community sites offering COVID-19 testing across Michigan to 17. The Michigan Department of the Health and Human Services is working with trusted community partners including churches, community colleges and nonprofit organizations to launch the sites, officials said.

Testing is free, and locations were chosen in part to help address racial and ethnic disparities that had existed prior to the pandemic and were exacerbated by the virus. Language translation is being provided at all sites, as well as assistance for the deaf and hard of hearing.

“We are working to make these Neighborhood Testing Sites as accessible as possible to the communities most in need,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy or health and MDHHS. “Ensuring all Michiganders can get tested is a priority for the department and we appreciate the partnerships with these community organizations helping make that happen.”

Testing sites are offering saliva tests, which are less invasive than nasal swabs and may make the testing process more tolerable for some people, officials said. Since the sites began operations on Aug. 28, more than 700 people have received a COVID-19 test at these locations.

Hope Community Church will be open for testing from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and from noon to 7 p.m. Fridays.

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