DETROIT – Detroit’s first drive-up COVID-19 testing site opened Friday afternoon at the State Fairgrounds.
Detroiter Rochelle Hamiel-Tucker was one of the first cars through.
“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 a clinic at Veterans Affairs. She said she believes she was infected with COVID-19 at work. She’s had a low-grade fever for more than a week, she’s had a scratchy throat and she’s been coughing. She said she was happy to have an answer in 4-7 days.
“It was a great sense of relief,” she said after she got her test. “Just to be able to know.”
The way it works, any resident of Wayne, Oakland or Macomb counties can come to this site for testing. You MUST have a doctor’s prescription first and you must have an appointment through a special call center.
“Anyone who is scheduled through the call center, with a physician’s prescription can come here,” Hakim Berry, chief operating officer for the city of Detroit, said.
Once you are in and cleared through checkpoints, a healthcare worker performs the nasal swab as you sit in your car.
On day one, they started small with 100 tests. It was supposed to be the same for Saturday, but the Mayor said things went so smoothly they will be prepared for the maximum amount of people tomorrow.
“Things went so well today, we will be ready for 300 tests this weekend,” Mayor Duggan said.
The site is made possible through a coalition including Detroit Medical Center, Henry Ford Health System, Trinity Health Systems, City of Detroit, Macomb County, Oakland County and Wayne County.
Testing will be done Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m.- 6 p.m.
In order to be tested, patients need to first get a doctor's order and then either the doctor or the patient can call 313-230-0505 to schedule the Drive Through appointment.
Dan Gilbert has donated the call center operations of Quicken Loans and Rock Connections to handle the appointments, which can be made from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m., seven days a week.
Fifty cars an hour will be scheduled so there will be no back up and long lines.