TAWAS CITY – Based on the critical need for on-going surveillance, District Health Department No. 2 (DHD2) and the Michigan National Guard conducted free, drive through COVID-19 testing open to the community in Tawas and West Branch on June 19. 

A total of 387 tests were collected, with 246 being collected in Tawas and 141 collected in West Branch.

The cooperation and assistance from many local community partners was necessary to hold these testing events and DHD2 is very grateful for their collaborative efforts, siad Denise Bryan, health officer for DHD2. She said testing is an important surveillance tool to assist with decision making related to our community’s health and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Bryan said by testing large numbers of residents, public health can use that information to identify cases and implement appropriate actions to minimize the spread.

“We would like to thank Tawas Area Schools and West Branch-Rose City Area Schools for their cooperation and the use of their property and facilities to conduct the testing,” Bryan said. “Their willingness to collaborate is greatly appreciated.

“It’s always heartwarming to me to see a community come together and hold an event that benefits everyone. I would especially like to recognize the staff here at DHD2 that worked very hard to plan this event and worked in very exhausting heat during testing to protect our community.”

Overall, Bryan said the events were well received by the community and several comments of gratitude and thankfulness were received by the staff at the sites. The health officer and the Board of Health commissioners wish to thank all the staff for their efforts.

In addition, Bryan said DHD2 also worked with the Michigan National Guard, Iosco County Sheriff’s Department, Tawas Police Authority, Tawas City DPW, Ogemaw County Emergency Management, Michigan State Police, the Ogemaw County Sheriff’s department and several community volunteers.

Results of the testing are pending and Bryan said DHD2 will work diligently to conduct contact tracing on any positive results received. Additionally, any resident who received testing and needs assistance getting their results can call 989-343-1827.

For more information and resources related to COVID-19, visit DHD2’s COVID-19 web site at www.dhd2.org/COVID-19 or the State of Michigan’s web site at www.michigan.gov/coronavirus.