Lines form for COVID-19 testing and boosters ahead of the holidays

Posted at 7:09 PM, Dec 21, 2021

(WXYZ) — When asked about the idea of reinstating mandates, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said sweeping mandates are less likely to encourage the unvaccinated to get vaccinated. So she says the goal at this point is education.

The owner of i Pharmacy in Livonia says the business is getting about hundred calls a day from people interested in getting a COVID-19 test. It started a few weeks ago, pharmacist Rudy Najm said.

“It’s actually, this is the busiest time we’ve ever been," Najm said.

Between the demand for vaccines, the booster and testing, Najm says from his view, it appears many people are trying to be safe.

“The tests are really like, it slowed down a bit in the summer, but now the tests are really, really the high in demand. Not just the lab tests, the rapid tests, (but) also the home kits. They’re almost sold out everywhere,” Najm explained.

It’s what health officials are pushing for.

"Even before gatherings, if you have symptoms, if you may have been exposed or before any unmasked gatherings, get tested. You still have time,” Elizabeth Hertel, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said.

Time to test and time get the vaccine or booster were part of the message at a press conference Tuesday morning in Grand Rapids.

Whitmer said from Jan. 15 to Dec. 3 of this year, unvaccinated or not yet fully vaccinated Michiganders made up 85% of the COVID-19 cases, 88% of hospitalizations and 85.5% of deaths from COVID-19.

“I wrote the first COVID-19 death certificate for Spectrum Health and since the beginning of this pandemic, I have never taken care of a patient dying from the vaccine. I have taken care of dozens and dozens who are dead from this virus, nearly all unvaccinated,” Dr. Shelley Schmidt, an ICU physician at Spectrum Health, said.

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