Detroit is working to ramp up COVID testing as omicron rapidly spreads

‘Now is the time to act,’ says Mayor Mike Duggan

The City of Detroit is working to ramp up COVID testing throughout the city.

DETROIT – Detroit’s Chief Health Officer says that there is a lot of concern over the omicron variant as it is spreading across the city. Only 46% of Detroit residents have received their first dose of the vaccine, while 38% have two shots.

There’s a focus on getting people vaccinated but also now they’re shifting their focus to testing more than 1,000 people a day.

With the rise in COVID numbers coinciding with the spreading of the omicron variant, Mayor Mike Duggan certainly wants people to wear their masks.

“This virus is evading cloth masks as they are not working vs. omicron,” Duggan said. “Those masks that are made up of cloth that you wore with the nice designs in them, they weren’t very effective for the last year and a half in protecting you against infection. They aren’t working against the omicron virus, and so now we need to be wearing the k95 or surgical masks. We have to take this more seriously.”

Read: What’s the latest advice on the type of mask I should wear?

The city still has vaccination and booster clinics running six days a week to stop and or slow down the spread of the virus. But fatigue is setting, and the city of Detroit is lagging in people getting vaccinated.

A drive-thru test at the Williams Center on Rosa Parks and Huntington Place (formally known as the TCF Center) is available as testing has started ramping up.

Tests are scarce nationwide. Long lines are forming, and Detroit wants to avoid long lines as they have enough tests for everyone.

“We think 1,000 a day, based on our phone calls so far, we are fine,” Duggan said. “We have a supply of 4,500 of Abbott ID now test a week that we run through our labs, and we got those locked in and guaranteed on top of other supplies. So we are good.”

About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.