June 3, 2020

WSU, ACCESS bring COVID-19 testing to Downtown Boxing Gym on June 6

As part of an ongoing program to make COVID-19 testing more accessible to residents across the city of Detroit, Wayne State University, ACCESS, the Wayne State University Physician Group and Ford Motor Co. will set up a mobile testing site outside the Downtown Boxing Gym on Detroit’s east side. Testing will take place June 6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. outside 6445 E. Vernor Highway.

Free COVID-19 swab tests and antibody tests will be provided to Downtown Boxing Gym families and neighborhood residents, ages 18 and older. In addition, participants can receive free blood pressure screenings and HIV testing for those ages 13 and older.

"The testing event at DBG demonstrates the power of partnerships in meeting community needs. Five organizations with community-focused missions have come together to protect and serve DBG members and nearby residents with COVID-19 testing and other much-needed services" said Phillip Levy, M.D., M.P.H., FAHA, FACC, the Edward S. Thomas Endowed Professor and associate chair for Research in the WSU Department of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Levy is also the assistant vice president for Translational Science and Clinical Research Innovation for WSU, and the chief innovation officer for the Wayne State University Physician Group.

The Downtown Boxing Gym is a free, after-school academic and athletic program that serves 150 students ages 8 to 18, providing reading and math intervention, tutoring, mentorship, college and career readiness, healthy meals, athletics and more, Monday through Friday all year round. During the coronavirus pandemic, the non-profit has kept its program going virtually by providing daily online tutoring, mentoring and group workouts for students, and deliveries of emergency food, paper goods, cleaning supplies and academic materials for its families each week.

Since March, DBG has also served the larger community by delivering thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer and tens of thousands of masks to nonprofits across southeast Michigan using its fleet of vans. A safe re-open plan to bring students back into the gym is in the works.

“Throughout this pandemic, our team has been working to serve the most urgent needs of our students, families and our community in every way we can,” said Khali Sweeney, DBG’s founder and chief executive officer. “Arranging for free COVID-19 testing outside of our gym is one more way we can help prevent the spread of this virus and help those in the immediate area who might not have access to transportation or the resources to get tested elsewhere.”

The mobile testing initiative was first launched in April with vehicles, drivers and equipment donated by Ford, and testing conducted by WSUPG and ACCESS health care professionals and volunteers for symptomatic first responders, health care workers and corrections officers in Michigan. The effort has since expanded to serve neighborhoods like the one surrounding the Downtown Boxing Gym. To date, approximately 8,000 people have received testing.

Testing is free and does not require a prescription from a physician. Results are returned with in 24 to 36 hours. Participants can complete a pre-intake form by texting the word CARE to 313-251-6538. For those who do not have a cell phone, a test team member will help with the form at the site.

With the effects of COVID-19 still unfolding every day, Wayne State University is taking proactive steps to limit its impact. Wayne State has established the Warrior Relief and Response campaign to provide increased support to critical programs and services. Gifts in support of COVID-19 mobile testing will help increase access to much needed screening and testing within metropolitan Detroit communities. To make a gift, please visit: warriorfunder.wayne.edu/covidtesting.