DETROIT - As the number of new coronavirus cases climbs daily, so is Michigan's testing capability. In an effort to streamline the process of safely testing people, the city of Detroit is opening up one of the state's first drive-thru testing facility.
Located at the Joe Dumars Field House off of State Fair Avenue in Detroit, testing is expected to start Friday, March 27 at 1 p.m. The city is aiming to test 100 people from their cars and then gradually test more people as days go on.
The city is aiming to test 400 people a day, the idea being that in six weeks, the city will have screened 14,000 people.
However, if you plan on getting tested yourself, there's a number of strict guidelines residents must adhere to before they show up.
To use the drive-thru facility, patients in Wayne, Macomb or Oakland counties will first have to talk to their doctor. If you don't have a doctor, go to the Detroit city health website and call them and they will get you a doctor. If you have symptoms and your doctor confirms as such, then you will call (313) 230-0505.
At the other end of the line is a call center set up by Quicken Loans, where an operator will help you schedule an appointment. Starting Thursday, people will be able to call and schedule an appointment from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.
Testing will take place at Joe Dumars Fieldhouse from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m Monday through Saturday. The testing site address is 1120 W State Fair Ave. Detroit. After you've scheduled an appointment, you must bring a valid ID and a written testing order or prescription from your doctor.
You must stay in your car with the windows up after getting in line.
“If we do this right, we can move 40 or 50 people an hour...come through, be swabbed. We will take the kits, send them by plane twice a day to New Jersey," he said. "The way the turnaround is going, we'll have the results back in three or four days."
Duggan said officials went to BioReference Labs in New Jersey and negotiated with them to test 500 people a day for the next six weeks.
The drive-thru testing facility will be coordinated by staff from Detroit Medical Center, Henry Ford Health System and Trinity Health. The Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan is donating $300,000 to help fund the process.
Officials organizing the pop-up facility consulted with executives from Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties first. The hope is after Detroit's drive-thru testing facility is up and running that each county health department will open up its own facilities as well.
Even as the coronavirus continues to be confirmed in more counties around Michigan, the majority of reported COVID-19 cases are in the metro Detroit area. As of March 26, more than 80% of cases have been reported in the region.