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Detroit Tells Every Grocery Store Employee in the City to Get Tested for COVID-19

Mayor Mike Duggan threatened to shut down businesses that didn’t comply with testing

Fruit including bananas on display at Parkway Foods in Detroit. Stock Detroit
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

In an announcement on Friday, April 24, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced a new rule requiring that all grocery store employees within city limits to be tested for COVID-19. Under the rule, all employees must be tested by Monday, May 11. Stores that do not take measures to get their employees tested could be shut down by the city, Duggan said.

“I have been very disappointed at the attitude of some of the grocery stores about getting their employees tested,” Duggan said during the briefing. Duggan had previously announced a program through which employers at essential businesses would arrange testing for staff members at the Michigan State Fairgrounds. It’s been notoriously difficult to obtain a coronavirus test in Michigan, though the state has worked to increase testing of the population over the last few weeks.

Grocery store workers are at particular risk for contracting the novel coronavirus because they work in close proximity with the public. At least five employees at grocery stores in the state have died as a result of COVID-19.

At the same time, Duggan announced a new program with investment firm Goldman Sachs providing $15 million in small business loan Paycheck Protection support. The Paycheck Protection Program has been notably swamped by applications. Many larger chains such as Shake Shack have received them and then been shamed into giving them back to banks.

Eater is tracking the impact of the novel coronavirus on the local food industry. Have a story to share? Reach out at

Mayor Duggan Says Grocery Stores Must Get Workers Tested for COVID-19 or Face Closure [Freep]
Duggan Requires COVID-19 Tests for Grocery Store Workers, Estimates 1 of 10 Detroit Residents Are Infected [Metro Times]
At Least Five Michigan Grocery Store Workers Have Died From COVID-19 [ED]
All Coronavirus Coverage [E]