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Take a test for the team

Knowledge is power.

It’s particularly powerful when we’re talking about trying to tamp down, and stay ahead of a pandemic. That’s why we’re happy to see the State of Michigan making substantial overtures to increase the volume of free COVID-19 testing conducted in northern Michigan.

The surge started last weekend with thousands of tests available at a pair of sites — one at Turtle Creek Stadium in Traverse City. The effort, supported by the Michigan National Guard, the Michigan State Police and health officials from across the region, collected more than 1,200 COVID tests. More than 800 of those tests were collected at the Traverse City site.

And officials expect the sites they setup for the coming weekend — the closest in Petoskey at the Odawa Casino parking lot — could collect nearly 2,000 samples.

The increased testing is something we all should embrace.

Yes, more tests means public health officials will detect more spots where COVID-19 has burrowed its way into our communities — results from last week’s surge haven’t yet arrived. But the rise in our numbers is a simple function of statistics.

We cast a bigger net, and we will catch more fish.

That bigger net gives our public health professionals a meaningful advantage as they work to track and stop new virus hotspots. Detect and address those pockets of infection quickly, and they won’t grow.

If we find them too late, we may all find ourselves facing new or increased restrictions on our livelihoods, and movements.

Knowledge is the most powerful tool we have in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

So it’s incumbent upon us all to ensure no test leaves northern Michigan unspent.

— Traverse City Record-Eagle

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