Duggan on Detroit and COVID-19: "We're continuing to lose our neighbors" | Michigan Radio
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Duggan on Detroit and COVID-19: "We're continuing to lose our neighbors"

Mar 31, 2020

Detroit continues to be hit hard by COVID-19.  But Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says efforts are underway to provide testing to every Detroiter who needs it.

As of Tuesday, Detroit reported 2,086 COVID-19 cases, and 73 deaths.

Duggan warns those numbers will continue to climb.

“The death toll continues to climb. We’re continuing to lose our neighbors,” Duggan said. “And the number of positive cases will continue to grow because our testing is expanding, and I expect our numbers will grow faster than others.”

But Duggan said the city is dramatically expanding testing capacity. Nearly 2,000 people have been tested at the former Michigan State Fairgrounds since Friday.

And now, Duggan said the city will help connect people with Detroit doctors and clinics willing to see new patients. So far 22 providers have stepped forward. Their names will be listed on the Detroit Health Department’s website.

“There is no reason anybody in this city shouldn’t have medical care. Most of these clinics will take you if you have no money and no insurance,” Duggan said. “They’re there for you.”

Drive-thru testing at the state fairgrounds requires a doctor’s prescription and an appointment.

Duggan also said the Federal Emergency Management Agency is sending 200,000 nasal swabs to Michigan right now. Those are used in COVID-19 test kits, and have been in short supply.

Duggan also gave an update on the city’s first responders. 76 police officers have tested positive, and 522 have been quarantined. 17 firefighters have tested positive, with 133 in quarantine.

But Duggan said the expanded testing, including new rapid-response tests that should start this week, should help bring some of them back on the job quickly.

Duggan and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation also announced a $3.1 million grant fund for the city’s small businesses. Detroit businesses with fewer than 50 employees and that made less than $1 million last year will be eligible. Applications will be accepted starting Wednesday.

Duggan said the fund is necessary to help small businesses recover after the COVID-19 pandemic recedes.

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