Detroit extends hours for COVID-19 rapid testing over holiday week

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Detroit — This week, Detroit medical officials are encouraging residents to get tested for COVID-19 before gathering for holiday celebrations and have extended hours at its testing center on the city's northwest side.

Rapid tests are available at the Joseph Walker Williams Recreation Center's COVID-19 testing site located at 8431 Rosa Parks Blvd. 

This week, the center will be open Monday through Friday, New Year's Eve, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The tests are available by appointment only and open to people who live or work in Detroit. Results can be received by text message within an hour of a nasal swab test. Call (313) 230-0505 to schedule an appointment.

Detroit's Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair Razo said the city is increasing its supply of rapid test kits in hopes to keep residents safe during the holidays.

"I am urging everyone to get tested before they gather, whether or not they have been vaccinated, especially if they plan to celebrate with anyone who may be at risk of developing severe complications from COVID-19," she said.

Since March 2020, the city has tallied 80,919 confirmed cases resulting in 2,673 deaths from the virus.

As of Thursday, 82% of the city's hospital beds are occupied. The 317 hospitalized COVID-19 patients account for 12% of total beds occupied and 33% of patients in the intensive care units.

The city is lagging the state in vaccination rates. Only 44% of the city's residents ages 5 and older have received at least one vaccine dose. For Detroiters over age 65, 70% have received at least one dose, according to the city's database.

The department recommends a COVID-19 vaccine to everyone 5 and older along with a booster dose for those who received a vaccine more than six months ago.

First, second and booster doses are available without an appointment. Text (313) 217-3732 to find the nearest location. To find extended-hour and Saturday sites, also call 313-230-0505.

The Detroit Health Department is planning vaccination events geared especially for school-age children, including a superhero-themed vaccination event on Wednesday, at 100 Mack Ave. and Northwest Activities Center, located at 18100 Meyers Road.

srahal@detroitnews.com