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Neighbors worry about long lines, discarded PPE from metro Detroit urgent care doing COVID-19 testing

Posted at 4:41 PM, Nov 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 18:12:26-05

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WXYZ) — A once calm Madison Heights Urgent Care is now a bustling site for COVID 19 rapid testing, with lines constantly out the door.

“The numbers are going to go up, the lines are going to get longer because people are sick and they need the testing,” said Sara Hadid, Physician’s Assistant at Get Well Urgent Care in Madison Heights.

Related: Michigan sets yet another one-day record with 8,516 new COVID-19 cases, 118 deaths

The clinic is now doing roughly 200 tests per day, as cases in Michigan reach record highs. Demand has been increasing in the past few months.

“Before you would be able to find a parking spot, now it’s very difficult to find a parking spot,” said Physician Dr. Nidal Hammoud.

Those cars and patients are now spilling into a nearby neighborhood. Those who live next door to the clinic say it’s been unbearable for weeks.

“They’re blowing their nose, taking their tissues, throwing it on the ground by our house,” said neighbor Michelle Palazzola.

Neighbors tell us they've called police a number of times after cars blocked their driveways and clogged the streets. One neighbor put up her own sign, and the city has their own.

“I don’t even feel safe taking my kids out to play because there are gloves, there are masks all over the place," Erin Nolan said.

The clinic says they’ve tried to help, hiring security to handle trash and traffic, and marking their parking spaces. They also say they just began a new system this week with the hope of shorter lines.

“We’re doing a grouping system where we accept a certain amount of people an hour,” Dr. Hammoud said. “If there are 100 people lined up, every person will be handed a ticket of a certain time to come in and get tested.”

The neighbors say there are still issues and the urgent care says they’re trying to solve them, as the state braces for another surge.

“If I thought we were hurting anyone, we wouldn't be doing this right now,” Dr. Hammoud said.

“I just want a safe home again, that’s all,” added Palazzola. “I don't think I’m asking for too much.”

The neighbors have also been in contact with the Madison Heights Mayor Roslyn Grafstein, who sent us this statement:

“This clinic has been servicing our community for years. Now during the pandemic they are offering much-needed Covid testing and the city is working with them so that they can continue to operate for both covid testing and non-covid related health concerns. I have been informed that they have hired someone to pick up garbage at their lot and along the street and are also actively looking for a nearby parking lot to handle their overflow. We want them to continue being a vital part of our city and are actively working with them on solutions so that this situation can be resolved.”

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.