covid testing site
Detroit is expanding its COVID testing options to offer antiviral treatment at the Joseph Walker Williams Center on Rosa Parks Boulevard. (BridgeDetroit photo by Valaurian Waller)

Detroit’s Health Department has joined a national program that offers rapid COVID-19 testing and onsite prescription oral treatment for patients who need it.

The city is providing the “Test-to-Treat” service through a partnership with the state to expand services for residents with the virus. Detroiters who test positive at the city’s Test to Treat site can be evaluated there and, if health officials deem necessary, will also receive free antiviral medication.

“Providing the Test to Treat program is directly in line with our goal of ensuring that Detroiters have easy access to all of the life-saving COVID-19 tools available to keep them safe and protected from severe illness or hospitalization,” Denise Fair Razo, Detroit Health Department’s chief public health officer said in a Monday statement. “Test to Treat is a free, one-stop shop that will continue to help keep Detroiters safe.”

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The program is being offered by appointment only from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Joseph Walker Williams Center, 8431 Rosa Parks Boulevard. To schedule, call (313) 230-0505.

The Biden administration launched the one-stop, Test-to-Treat sites in March, with hundreds across the nation and 66 in Michigan. Most of the initial sites – in 26 of Michigan’s 83 counties – were in the southern half of the state, a handful of others were in northern Michigan and a couple more in the Upper Peninsula.

Fair Razo has warned in recent weeks that an uptick of COVID-19 is on the horizon this spring amid prom and graduation celebrations and other warmer weather events. 

She has said about 50% of Detroiters ages 5 and up are vaccinated and about 20% of the city’s population eligible for a booster shot has gotten one. The city has a goal of getting 70% of the population vaccinated and maintains vaccine clinics on the east and west side. 

As of Monday, Detroit has recorded 130,207 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 3,427 deaths from the virus since it was first detected here in March 2020. 

Detroit health officials note oral medications for COVID-19 are found to be 90% effective in preventing severe illness caused by the virus. But the antiviral medication is only effective if treatment is provided within five days of the illness onset. 

“Understanding available treatment options to manage COVID-19 if you test positive is important in preventing symptoms from getting worse,” added Robert Dunne, acting medical director for the Detroit Health Department. “This is one more tool in helping us reduce COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths by quickly getting people the treatment they need.”

For additional information about COVID-19, including other testing and vaccination sites in Detroit, call (313) 876-4444 or visit the Detroit Health Department website

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