Detroit nursing home seniors and staff to be tested for COVID-19 today

Posted at 4:27 AM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-08 06:45:27-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Seniors and staff at nursing homes in the city of Detroit will be tested for COVID-19 starting today.

Mayor Mike Duggan announced this Tuesday — noting that about half of the city’s nursing homes have reported some rate of infection from the virus — and 12 nursing home residents have died.

There are 27 nursing homes in Detroit. The mayor says the city is working with Wayne State University on this — medical students will be tackling one nursing home a day.

“We are going to start to use the 15 minute Avid Lab tests to aggressively go after infections at the nursing homes," said Duggan.

As testing capabilities ramp up in Detroit — Mayor Duggan says the city will focus on some of it’s most vulnerable – the elderly.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has already put restrictions on visitors at nursing homes in order to the stop the spread of COVID-19.

“We’re going to start testing nursing home staff at the 15 minute site. We’ll be testing 60 over the next two days," said Duggan.

As far as testing nursing home residents — the city will come to them.

"The medical students from WSU are going to go out to nursing homes, and we're going to do one nursing home a day starting with the ones with the most problems," said Duggan.

Med students at Wayne State will collect samples from residents at nursing homes around the city – there’s 27 in total –14 of which have already reported some rate of infection from COVID-19.

"They'll take the samples of every nursing home resident that day...then after 9 o'clock at night... when our testing lab shuts down our medical students will stay until midnight or 1a.m," according to Duggan. "They'll run the tests after the office is the next morning our nursing homes will know which residents are negative and which residents are positive."

Mayor Duggan announcing Tuesday that while we’re still facing the worst of this virus, social distancing in Detroit is making a difference.

He showed infection numbers displaying a slow in the spread of COVID-19.

Again, nursing home testing begins Wednesday. The goal being to take on one facility every day, so the hope is that within a month, every nursing home resident will have had a test.

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