DETROIT – The city of Detroit opened its first drive-up coronavirus (COVID-19) testing site at the state fairgrounds Friday with the plan to test 100 people and gradually ramp up from there.
Officials said they took painstaking measures to make sure everyone was safe.
Cars went in and out of the testing site after it officially opened Friday afternoon. Once the gates were opened to the state fairgrounds, Rochelle Hamiel-Tucker was one of the first cars through.
UPDATE -- March 27, 2020: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 3,657; Death toll now at 92
“It was kind of chaotic at the beginning,” Hamiel-Tucker said. “Once we were finally let in the gates, I think they were trying to get everyone in place to make sure you had an actual prescription.”
Hamiel-Tucker is a nurse at Veterans Affairs. She said she believes she was infected with COVID-19 at work because she’s had a low-grade fever for more than a week, a scratchy throat and a cough.
Hamiel-Tucker is happy to have an answer in four to seven days.
“It was a great sense of relief just to be able to know,” Hamiel-Tucker said.
Any resident of Wayne, Oakland or Macomb counties can go to the site for testing. You must have a doctor’s prescription and an appointment made through a special call center.
“Anyone that is scheduled through the call center with a physician’s prescription can come through,” Detroit Chief Operating Officer Hakim Berry said.
Either the doctor or the patient can call 313-230-0505 to schedule the drive-up appointment.
Once you’re in and cleared through checkpoints, a healthcare worker will perform the nasal swab as you sit in your car.
On day one, they planned to do 100 tests, and that’s the same for Saturday. But Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said the plan went so smoothly Friday that they are prepared for their max, starting Saturday.