Back in mid-April, Ford Motor Company, Wayne State University, the Wayne State University Physician Group, and ACCESS joined forces to launch a mobile COVID-19 testing effort that has since administered tests to over 10,000 unique individuals. This includes first responders, health care workers, police officers, and firefighters. Additionally, many individuals have also been tested multiple times. The initiative has proven so successful that Ford and its educational allies have decided to expand it even further.
The automaker announced the mobile COVID-19 testing expansion today, which involves increasing the number of test vehicles in the fleet, expanding its area of operation as well as the types of tests available, and opening the program to local communities in need.
Ford and its in-house incubator Ford X have provided four specially outfitted Ford Transit vans for the effort. Each is fully equipped for mobile COVID-19 testing as mobile screening units to conduct and support testing for symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. This includes a Transit that’s been upfitted to provide a better environment for health care workers, with built-in features such as drop-down tables, additional power sources, centrifuges for blood draws, refrigeration, and more protective equipment.
Additionally, each vehicle is equipped with tents, sanitation, power, and Wi-Fi to support mobile testing. Two Lincoln Personal Driver vehicles previously provided by Ford continue to be used to run medical equipment and supplies to the testing sites and lab facilities, and the company continues to consider other ways to expand the fleet.
For now, priority access will continue to be given to first responders and front line workers. However, testing services are also available to local communities at large, serving those who are high risk, those who may have had exposure to the virus, and those who may be asymptomatic. Health care workers are providing tests at locations such as nursing homes, substance abuse centers, homeless/community shelters, and more.
As part of this program, clinicians and professionals from Wayne State University, the Wayne State University Physician Group, and ACCESS are providing free testing that does not require a prescription from a physician. Test results are typically returned within 24 hours.