The Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners approved $40,000 in CARES Act Funding to Memorial Healthcare for further COVID-19 testing during the Thursday, Dec. 17 meeting. The agreement between Memorial Healthcare and the county health department was voted on with Chair Jeremy Root (R-Dist. 5) and Commissioner Cindy Garber (R-Dist. 6) both dissenting.
Memorial Healthcare President/CEO Brian Long expressed concerns to the board during the Thursday meeting, sharing that Memorial was unaware they had been invited or needed to attend the Tuesday evening Health and Human Services Committee meeting. Long stated he was disappointed in some commissioner commentary directed at Memorial during both the Tuesday meeting and the Wednesday Committee of the Whole meeting. Long called the board out, reiterating Memorial Healthcare’s commitment to collaborate with the county health department.
Shiawassee County Health Director Larry Johnson logically stated the health department had gone to Memorial because the CARES Act money needed to be utilized before Thursday, Dec. 31. Memorial Healthcare already does in-house testing, whereas the county health department does not due to a lack of capacity.
Commissioner Dan McMaster (R-Dist. 2) wanted to know if testing sites outside of Owosso might be included. Memorial Healthcare has had testing at both its main campus on W. King Street and also the W. Main Street Memorial Healthcare Foundation drive-thru parking lot. In short, a drive-thru testing site was considered for Durand, but a zoning constraint detoured that initiative – with strategic thought offered that Owosso was mostly central to the entire county.
Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners meetings are available on YouTube. For more on Memorial Healthcare COVID-19 testing, please visit www.memorialhealthcare.org/covid-19-testing-information.