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


Mayor Mike Duggan says Detroiters won't have to wait in line for hours for a COVID-19 test. - CITY OF DETROIT, FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS
  • 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 cases 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 demand, the city is also offering tests at Huntington Place, formerly the TCF Center.

Testing is available 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 still in the middle of a pandemic, and it’s still up to us if we want to get back to normal and to stay safe,” Fair Razo said.

Stay connected with Detroit Metro Times. Subscribe to our newsletters, and follow us on Google News, Apple News, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Reddit.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.