Western Michigan University is now offering "rapid-result" antigen testing that detects active COVID-19 cases, through the Sindecuse Health Center, one of only a few in Kalamazoo County.

Here's why it's important: “The biggest advantage to WMU providing the rapid-result antigen test is to assess the local, immediate people around us and to keep everyone safe,” says Sindecuse nursing director Jessica Slates.

WMU has been offering Covid-19 testing for about a month, but the tests had to be sent to a lab, and getting results back took a much longer time. The rapid results test are done in 15 minutes.

Because of how dangerously infectious Covid-19 is, it's important to diagnose the patient and get them medical care as soon as possible, but maybe, just as importantly, it's getting that patient isolated, and informing all those they have come in contact with to be aware of their exposure.

WMU, along with Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Kalamazoo College, form one of the largest population groups in the county. And this rapid testing is available to both students and employees.

Western says it gotten the emergency authorizations to do this test because of so many of its population are younger and those people may have active, but asymptomatic infection and spread the disease.

WMU says "antigen testing quickly detects fragments of proteins found on or within the virus by testing samples collected from nasal cavity swabs and produces same-day results." This test was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in early May.

If you need to get tested, here's some information to get you started.

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