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COVID-19 testing ramping up, as Detroit puts focus on testing people age 60 and up

Paulette Parker
Michigan Radio

The city of Detroit is ramping up COVID-19testing, with a focus on testing ‘at-risk’ seniors. Since May 1, 84% of Detroiters who've died from the disease have been over the age of 60.

Because of that, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says the city wants more senior citizens tested for the coronavirus.

“Anybody aged 60 or older who’s a resident of the city of Detroit can get a free test.  Don’t need a prescription.  Don’t need symptoms. Don’t need anybody to tell you its OK,” Duggan told reporters on Wednesday.

Duggan says by next week the fairgrounds testing site should be able to process 2,000 tests a day.

State officials have a goal of testing 30,000 people a day in Michigan. The average over the last week has been about 12,000 tests a day.

The effort to increase COVID-19 testing comes as new cases of the disease are declining.  But the overall numbers during the pandemic continue to rise.

Wednesday, Detroit Public Health director Denise Fair said the city this week recorded its 10,000th case of COVID-19. Detroit has also counted more than 1,200 deaths.

4,714 Michiganders have died from COVID-19 in the past two months.

48,391 Michiganders have tested positive for the disease. 

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