Coronavirus in Michigan: Day 75

Sparrow COVID test a breeze, says Ingham County’s health officer

New numbers continue to fall statewide, locally


“Quick and easy.”

That’s the rave review that Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail gave today to being tested for COVID-19 at Sparrow Health System’s new facility in Frandor.

“That thing definitely goes up your nose far enough to make your eyes water a little bit,” she added. “It’s not too bad, but my 5-year-old granddaughter hated it when they did one on her.”

Vail received one of 6,097 tests given since the site opened Monday at the old Sears auto center, according to a Sparrow spokesman. Of them,  1,242 were nasal swab tests and 1,268 were antibody tests. The rest were blood work that at-risk people such as cancer patients have been putting off since the pandemic began, said the spokesman, John Foren.

He said 300 to 450 people a day have been tested. They drive into one of the garage’s six bays, only three of which have been put to use so far.

Testing there is not aimed at people with serious symptoms, who should see their doctors or go to an emergency room, Foren said. “Some people just say, why not?” he said. “We’re seeing people who just want it for peace of mind.”

Vail said she got tested because she will undergo a diagnostic procedure at Sparrow this week. “Sparrow tests everybody before they bring them into their system, so they don’t have people coming in for less essential things and infecting staff and other patients,” she explained.

Vail said up to now the focus has been on keeping people at home to reduce the virus’ spread.

“We’ve done that,” she declared. “We’ve kept it down to a manageable level.”

“As we re-renter, as people go Up North this weekend, we have to have the capacity to test anybody that’s symptomatic, anybody in an outbreak situation, any vulnerable groups, people coming in to hospitals for procedures,” she added.

Vail applauded Sparrow’s efforts on the testing front.

“They did everything they did to get a test in place,” she said. “Now, Sparrow has done the fourth highest number of testing in the state. We’ve benefited from them in our own communities in Ingham County and even statewide.”

Vail said Sparrow’s test is “very reliable,” although she said the rate of false positives and false negatives on Sparrow’s test is unknown. She pointed out that there were problems with a test released by Abbott Laboratories that she said was “hastily constructed.” To avoid shoddily constructed tests, Sparrow Laboratories developed its own test, she said.

Vail encouraged everyone to get tested.

“Once we get to a point where we are out and about, back in settings that might be more crowded, it’s very important for all of those people to get tested,” she said.

But she cautioned that testing negative is not a reason to let one’s guard down when it comes to social distancing, washing one's hands and covering one’s face and not touching it.

“If it’s negative, then it’s only negative today. For it to continue to be negative, you need to do all the things it’s important for you to do to keep from getting infected.”


In the numbers… Here are the latest numbers, compared to yesterday, as collected by the state of Michigan and Ingham County (except for the national figures).

Ingham County                     

Cases — 697 (+2)

Deaths — 25 

Recovered cases — 368

Recovery Rate: 5.3%

Fatality Rate — 3.6%

As of Friday, zip code 48911 tracks 201-210 cases. Zip code 48910 tracks 71-80 cases. Zip code 48823 tracks 61-70 cases. Zip code 48854 and 48906 tracks 51-60 cases. Zip code 48864 tracks 41-50 cases. Zip codes 48842 and 48912 each track 31-40 cases. Zip code 48915 tracks 21-30 cases. Zip codes 48917, 48840, and 48895 each track 11-20 cases. Zip codes 48285, 48819, 48827, 48892, 48933, 49251, 49264 and 49285 each track 1-10 cases.

Eaton County                 

Cases — 176 (+1)

Deaths — 6 (No change)     

Fatality Rate — 3.4% 

Clinton County                                                                               

Cases — 138 (+1)

Deaths — 10 (No change)

Fatality Rate — 7.2%                                                


Cases — 54,769 (+404)

Recoveries — 33,268 (as of 5/23/20)                

Recovery Rate — 60.7%

Deaths — 5,228 (+8)

Fatality Rate — 9.5%


Cases — 1,633,076

Deaths — 97,430

Fatality Rate — 6%

Source: CNN     

Michigan reports the seventh most cases of any state, behind New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, California, Pennsylvania and Illinois. Michigan ranks fourth in the country in virus-related deaths, behind New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.


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