Sparrow still urges testing for anyone exposed to COVID-19

Published: Aug. 31, 2020

LANSING, MI – Sparrow Health System, a statewide leader in testing for COVID-19, opposes new federal guidelines that discourage checking asymptomatic people for the virus and continues to urge those who have been exposed to COVID-19 to be tested.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines this week saying people exposed to someone with COVID-19 but who don’t show symptoms don’t necessarily need a test. In the interest of the community, Sparrow will not follow the CDC guidelines, believing that greater testing helps identify and improve our response to the virus.

“Sparrow Laboratories continues to test all individuals, symptomatic or otherwise, including those with COVID,” said Sparrow Laboratories Director James Richard, D.O. “Testing provides information on the COVID threat we face. The more we know about COVID in our community, the better Sparrow can address the threat.”

Dr. Richard noted that much of the national laboratory and medical community also oppose the CDC guidelines.

“Sparrow’s Mission is ‘improving the health of the people in our communities by providing quality, compassionate care to everyone, every time.’ That Mission includes testing all willing community members, symptomatic or otherwise, for COVID, despite the new CDC guidelines. It’s about doing what is needed to protect everyone. It’s about doing the right things,” Dr. Richard said.

Sparrow recently achieved a milestone by performing its 100,000th test for COVID-19, becoming one of only a few hospital or private labs in Michigan to achieve that level.

The huge numbers are fueled by the continued incredible popularity of the innovative Sparrow Laboratories Drive-Thru Services site at Frandor in Lansing. Sparrow has added other drive-thru sites and continues to respond to the community’s needs with special testing events, such as this week’s in Portland.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Sparrow has been a national leader in performing the nasal swab or PCR test, becoming one of the first hospitals in Michigan to offer tests for inpatients. Despite the growing volume, Sparrow is able to provide test results to most patients within 48 hours. The tests are processed at Sparrow’s Center for Laboratory Medicine in Lansing.

For more information on Sparrow Laboratories and testing sites, go to


Sparrow Health System is Mid-Michigan’s premier healthcare organization and includes hospitals in Lansing, Carson City, Charlotte, Ionia and St. Johns, as well as Sparrow Specialty Hospital, Physicians Health Plan, Sparrow Care Network, Sparrow Medical Group and the Michigan Athletic Club. Sparrow is affiliated with Michigan Medicine through the Sparrow Children’s Center and with Michigan State University’s three human health colleges. Through these partnerships and the dedication of our 10,000 caregivers, Sparrow pursues a vision to be nationally recognized as a leader in quality and patient experience. For more information, visit