This story appeared in Michigan Radio. Read the full story here.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is partnering with Wayne State University and Wayne Health to bring COVID-19 testing to more Michiganders using mobile health units.

The mobile health units are based in vans that already serve Detroit and its metropolitan area. The vans are equipped to provide COVID-19 tests, flu vaccines, blood pressure screenings, and HIV tests.

In addition, the mobile health unit staff are trained to offer referrals to social services, like Medicaid, unemployment assistance, and emergency food and shelter.

The partnership with MDHHS is bringing the mobile health units to Flint, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Muskegon in the coming months. State health officials say these locations were selected to address racial disparities that have been apparent in the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Philip Levy heads the Mobile COVID Testing Program for Wayne Health. He says the mobility of the units allow health providers to meet people where they are in order to provide them healthcare that might not otherwise be available.

“Meeting people and providing services where they live is critical not only to containing the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential to improving health in general,” he says.