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 and takes effect Nov. 18. Mayor Mike Duggan and Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair outlined the City of Detroit’s plans at a news briefing Nov. 16.
To help ensure the public is safe, 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, and results are available in 24 – 48 hours.
- 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 Nov. 17. 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-19 safety restrictions. A form is available at detroitmi.gov/health or anyone can call 313-876-4000. Businesses found to be in violation will be subject to a fine of up to $1,000.
- 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.
To review the details of the City’s plan of action, click here.
COVID-19 Infection Rates in Detroit and Metro Area
The Detroit Health Department released new figures Nov. 16 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 Detroit Health Department is recommending that residents avoid gatherings and instead hold a virtual Thanksgiving on Zoom, or consider starting a new tradition. Tips and guidance for the holidays are available on the Department’s website: www.detroitmi.gov/health.
The Detroit Health Department (DHD) is providing two ways for residents to report businesses that are violating COVID-19 safety restrictions. A form is available at detroitmi.gov/health or anyone can call 313-876-4000. Businesses found to be in violation will be subject to a fine of up to $1,000. Chief Public Health Director Denise Fair said a list of businesses in violation will be maintained on DHD’s website.
Fair 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 www.detroitmeansbusiness.org.
Detroit residents can provide their input as the City of Detroit develops its Parks & Recreation Strategic Plan. Every five years, the City undergoes a process to update the plan and is currently in the first phase of the 18-month project. In this phase, the City is gathering information to learn what residents’ future priorities and goals are for parks and recreation in Detroit and to connect residents with existing programs and resources.
The project will include the survey, a community needs assessment and community meetings across the city. To take the survey, go to detroitmi.gov/parksplan. The survey on average takes approximately ten to fifteen minutes. If individuals need help filling out the survey, they may complete the survey over the phone (languages other than English available with prior notice) by calling 313-224-5555.