Southfield – Oakland County and 15 churches have partnered to expand and provide free COVID-19 drive-thru testing in Southfield and Pontiac, county Executive Dave Coulter announced.

Beginning Monday, the county health division will work with McLaren Oakland in Pontiac and Ascension Providence Hospital-Novi Campus at 14 locations.

“The impact of COVID-19 on our communities of color has shined a bright light of race disparities in access to health care,”Coulter said at a press conference at the Christian Tabernacle Church in Southfield. “It is unacceptable and we are responding by taking testing directly to at-risk individuals which will give us the ability to track and mitigate a reemergence of the virus.”

Through Wednesday, Oakland County has confirmed 11,384 total cases county wide and  1,020 COVID-19 related deaths. There have been 7,246 Oakland County residents who have recovered from the virus during the pandemic, data shows..

Coulter expressed gratitude toward pastors, several joining him at the afternoon press conference, helping “to get the word out” about the importance of testing.

“It is vital that health care is available and accessible to all residents throughout  Oakland County,” Coulter said. “I am grateful to Ascension and McLaren for their support.”

Free drive-thru testing requires preregistration at www.oakgov.com/covid/testing. Results are expected to be returned in 48 to 72 hours.

The program is supported by the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, Coulter said.

African-Americans represent 33 percent of total COVID-19 cases across the county and 36.2 percent of its fatalities, according to county data.

The county health division and Honor Community Health continue to offer drive-thru testing in the county complex, 1200 N. Telegraph in Pontiac, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. Testing is also available at the Health Division’s Southfield office at 27725 Greenfield on Monday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Friday at the Novi Civic Center parking lot, 45175 W. 10 Mile.

Preregistration is available by calling 1-800-848-5533.

New test sites and times announced Thursday:

In Pontiac – New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, 174 Branch, Monday from 8 a.m.-noon.;

New Birth International Church, 124 W. Columbia, 1-4 p.m. Monday; Shiloh Baptist Church, 474 University Dr., 8 a.m.-noon Tuesday; Prospect Missionary Baptist Church and Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, 351 Prospect St. Tuesday 1-4 p.m.; Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, 404 Cesar Chavez, Wednesday 1-4 p.m.; and Welcome Missionary Baptist Church, 143 Oneida, Wednesday; New Mount Moriah International  Missionary Baptist Church, 313 E. Walton, June 25 8 a.m.-noon; Trinity Missionary Baptist Church 112-123 Wessen St., June 25, 1-4 p.m.

In Southfield:

Hope United Methodist, 26275 Northwestern Highway, June 26, 8 a.m.-noon; First Baptist Church, 21200 Southfield Road, Friday, 1-4 p.m.; New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, 23455 W. Nine Mile, June 29 1-4 p.m.; Triumph Church North Campus, 15600 J.L. Hudson Dr., June 30 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Christian Tabernacle, 26555 Franklin, July 1 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Empowerment Church 24300 Southfield Road, Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

mmartindale@detroitnews.com

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