Detroit ramps up COVID-19 testing capacity as omicron variant spreads

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  • City of Detroit, Flickr Creative Commons
  • Mayor Mike Duggan says Detroiters won’t have to wait in line for hours for a COVID-19 test.

As the highly contagious omicron variant sweeps across Michigan, the city of Detroit is now offering up to 1,000 COVID-19 tests a day.

Mayor Mike Duggan said residents can now get rapid tests without waiting in line for hours, like many residents in the suburbs are.




“Detroit is acting to make this the fastest place in the country to get a COVID test to keep yourself and your family safe,” Duggan said at a news conference Wednesday. “You don’t have to wait in line to get a test.”


The announcement came on the same day that Michigan reported its highest number of positive COVID-19 situations since the pandemic began, with 27,346 confirmed infections over the past two days.


Duggan and city health officials said the omicron variant is extraordinarily contagious and isn’t deterred by vaccinations or cloth masks.


The city has been booking about 600 testing appointments a day at the Joseph Walker Williams Community Center. To meet the high need, the city is also offering tests at Huntington Place, formerly the TCF Center.


Testing is obtainable at the community center from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Huntington Place.


To make an appointment, call 313-230-0505. You must live or work in Detroit to get tested at either of the city sites.


Duggan said it’s important for residents to get tested as quickly as possible if they believe they may have been infected.


“We want you to know right away if you are positive or not so you can take the precautions right away to protect yourselves and your family,” Duggan said.


City health officials are encouraging symptomatic residents to isolate until 24 hours after symptoms are gone and then get tested to confirm they are no longer positive. Asymptomatic residents should isolate for five days before getting retested.


Denise Fair Razo, chief public health officer of Detroit, said the severity of the pandemic will largely be determined by the precautions taken.


“We’re nevertheless in the middle of a pandemic, and it’s nevertheless up to us if we want to get back to normal and to stay safe,” Fair Razo said.


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