15-minute COVID-19 test kits to be rolled out in Detroit Thursday

Posted at 8:19 AM, Apr 02, 2020

DETROIT — The city of Detroit will be the first to use COVID-19 test kits that can return results in 15 minutes.

The rapid tests significantly move up the timeline for determining the next steps for coronavirus treatment, as swab tests normally take days to process.

In addition, the tests can diagnose a case of COVID-19 in a person who is still asymptomatic. That way, a patient can immediately self-isolate and limit the spread of the virus.

Detroit is the first city to begin using the tests, according to Mayor Mike Duggan. The use of the tests will begin Thursday for members of the Detroit Police Department, first responder, and bus drivers.

As of Thursday, 91 employees in the Detroit Police Department have tested positive for the coronavirus, including Police Chief James Craig. More than 500 police officers are currently in quarantine.

In addition, 17 Detroit Fire Department employees have contracted the virus, and another 146 workers are currently in quarantine.

At a press conference Wednesday, Mayor Duggan said they are checking fire and police employees every day to see if they have a fever — one of the symptoms of COVID-19.

"We put a thermometer on everyone, Detroit Police and Fire coming to work," Duggan said. "I got two alerts this morning. We had one officer came in over 100 degrees and one firefighter who came in over 100 degrees and immediately sent them home."

One hundred and twenty officers who were quarantined have now returned to work.

This story was originally published by Syma Chowdhry on WXYZ in Detroit.