Munson Healthcare Expands Access to COVID-19 Testing

Munson Healthcare announced Tuesday that they are taking steps to expand COVID-19 testing options in their communities by offering PCR COVID-19 testing in Traverse City and rapid antigen testing kits at several health system pharmacies.

They say under a partnership with LabCorp, they are now offering PCR covid testing services at their Foster Family Community Health Center Library.

“This is a convenient option for someone who is asymptomatic, but may need a test for travel, sports, or work,” said Casey Kandow, Munson Healthcare Vice President of Ancillary Services. “With this option, an asymptomatic individual wouldn’t need to step inside a clinic, where many of our symptomatic patients are going, to get tested.”

Munson says testing is only for those who do not have covid symptoms, and it is not an option for anybody who has received an exposure notice.

The Foster Family Community Healthcare Center Library, located at 550 Munson Ave., Suite 0103, is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The process for testing is as follows:

  • No doctor’s order needed. This PCR test is an out-of-pocket expense for the patient and costs $51.31.
  • Patients will purchase the test kit from Foster Family Community Healthcare Center Pharmacy and then proceed to the library for swab testing.
  • Results are available within 72 hours via the LabCorp patient portal. A LabCorp app is also available for smart phones.
  • Munson Healthcare will call all patients with positive results and add positive results to patients’ electronic health records.

Munson Healthcare has also purchased a large amount of at-home covid testing kits, specifically PHU BinaxNOW rapid antigen tests, through Abbott Laboratories. They have also released the kits to retail pharmacies.

“This kit comes with a QR code that launches a virtual proctor to guide you through the swabbing process at home,” stated Kandow. “The proctor will also report results to the appropriate state agencies.”

The rapid antigen tests are for those who are experiencing covid symptoms and those who do not have covid symptoms. The kits are available at the following pharmacies:

  • Munson Community Health Center Pharmacy, located at Foster Family Community Health Center, 550 Munson Avenue in Traverse City
  • Sixth Street Drugs, 1020 6th St. in Traverse City.
  • Bay Shore Pharmacy, 93 W. 4th Street Suite A, in Suttons Bay
  • Empire Pharmacy, 9975 W. Ottawa St. in Empire

Munson says no doctor’s order is needed for testing. They say the rapid antigen test is an out-of-pocket expense for the patient and costs $39.99 plus tax.

Those who do purchase the testing kit and swab at home will see results in 15 minutes.

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Categories: Coronavirus