Mayor, Chief Public Health Officer announce steps to protect Detroiters during COVID surge

  • Detroit’s positivity rating rises to 6.8%, but still lower than surrounding counties and state
  • Testing available daily at Joseph Walker Williams Recreation Center
  • Rapid testing being conducted at homeless centers and nursing homes to protect city’s most vulnerable populations
  • Health Department asks public to report businesses that are not complying with new state-issued restrictions; fines up to $1,000 possible

With COVID-19 cases on the rise, the City of Detroit will work aggressively to protect residents and ensure compliance of a new three-week emergency order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) that limits indoor social gatherings and other group activities.

The Detroit Health Department released new figures today indicating the city’s positivity rate has risen to 6.8%, which is up from about 2.3% a month ago. Statewide, the seven-day average positivity rate increased to 12.8% for the period Nov. 5-11; during the same period, Wayne County’s positivity rate average was 12.6%; Oakland County was 13.1%, and Macomb County was 17%.

While Detroit’s rate remains much lower than surrounding areas and the state as a whole, the upward trend in cases indicates the importance for all Detroiters to continue to follow safety guidelines: wear a mask covering nose and mouth, maintain social distancing at all times from others, hand washing and avoid crowds.

“The new restrictions announced yesterday by the Governor and her team are necessary and we support them,” said Mayor Duggan. “To protect our residents, the City has in place a series of efforts to make sure everyone who needs a test can get one and that businesses are complying with these new temporary restrictions.”


To help ensure the public is safe, Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair announced the following:

  • Testing is available for any resident at the Joseph Walker Williams Recreation Center, located at 8431 Rosa Parks Boulevard. All that is required is to make an appointment by calling 313-230-0505. Patients must bring a photo ID and proof of residency of Wayne, Oakland or Macomb counties. Appointments are often available within a day of calling the testing appointment number.
  • To protect the city’s most vulnerable residents, the Health Department will support testing of homeless centers and nursing home residents and staff.  All 25 operating nursing homes in the city will be tested over a two-week period starting Tuesday.  Testing also is being conducted at all Detroit homeless shelters.
  • The Health Department is providing two ways for residents to report businesses that are violating COVID safety restrictions. A form is available at or anyone can call 313-876-4000. Businesses found to be in violation will be subject to a fine of up to $1,000.

“Everyone needs to do their part in order to keep Detroit businesses open,” says Fair. “And that means following health guidelines so that Detroiters can go shopping or dine out with a level of confidence that all businesses are taking steps to ensure people are as safe as possible from contracting this disease.”

Fair said that a list of businesses in violation will be maintained on DHD’s website. She also referred businesses to Detroit Means Business as a source of masks and gloves at no charge to small businesses. Further information on PPE distribution, as well as easy-to-understand guides and other resources related to the State’s health order, is available at


School Enforcement
Fair said that K-8 schools conducting in-person learning also will be subject to inspection and possible enforcement. Schools are required to report a positive case within 24 hours. Once notified, Health Department inspectors will conduct investigations. Guidance and education will be provided as needed. Unannounced visits will be conducted to ensure compliance; any staff in violation will be subject to a $200 fine.

Fair also recommends holding a virtual Thanksgiving on Zoom, or consider starting a new tradition. Tips and guidance for the holidays are also available on the Department’s website.


Media Contact
Margaret Carroll
[email protected]