On Tuesdays, the Rochester Fire Department serves as one of Oakland County’s new drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites.

On Tuesdays, the Rochester Fire Department serves as one of Oakland County’s new drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites.

Photo provided by the Rochester Fire Department

Rochester Fire Department opens new drive-thru COVID-19 testing site

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published December 8, 2020


ROCHESTER — The city of Rochester is now home to one of Oakland County’s four new drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites.  

As of Nov. 30, county officials relocated their drive-thru COVID-19 testing locations to Rochester, Southfield, Pontiac and Holly in order to provide shelter from winter weather.

The new testing locations are each open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. by appointment only.

The Rochester Fire Station, 277 E. Second St. in downtown Rochester, is open to all Oakland County residents for drive-thru testing on Tuesdays, by appointment only.  

On Dec. 1, the first day of drive-thru testing offered at the Rochester Fire Station, Fire Chief John Cieslik said the operation was running smoothly.

“I really have to compliment the Oakland County Homeland Security Department and the Health Department at Oakland County. They are very well organized and staffed here. They started at 9 a.m., and believe it or not, at least 10 people were lined up to come in at 9 o’clock. They will continue filling appointments during the day, and they test until 5 o’clock,” Cieslik said.

“I heard from one of our residents who sent me an email afterwards saying that they had booked an appointment and that it was very professionally run and timely. They just wanted to let me know they were glad they didn’t have to drive to another location further away,” Rochester City Manager Blaine Wing added.

The COVID-19 testing is done by Oakland County staff in the Rochester Fire Station’s drive-thru bay to limit exposure for any of the folks within the fire station, Cieslik noted.

“I believe they are testing 12 people every 15 minutes. You stay in your vehicle and you drive through the fire station one way — you don’t get out — and they test you right in your car and you leave the fire station,” he said. “Everything is well coordinated, and the fire station is operating at full capacity.”

COVID-19 tests are available for anyone 4 or over. Children 17 or under must have COVID-19 symptoms and be a resident of or attend school in Oakland County to be tested. There is no charge for tests and no prescription is needed; however, appointments are required. To make an appointment at any of Oakland County’s COVID-19 testing locations, call Nurse on Call at 1-800-848-5533.

When a vaccine becomes available, Oakland County officials said they would distribute it utilizing these sites.

“The quicker we can test people and get them vaccinated, the sooner we can maybe get back to normalcy in the area,” Cieslik said.

Additional county testing locations include: the Old Holly Fire Station, 313 S. Broad St. in Holly, on Mondays; the Southfield City Hall employee parking deck, 26000 Evergreen Road in Southfield, on Wednesdays; and the Pontiac Fire Station, 348 South Blvd. in Pontiac, on Thursdays. County officials said a fifth location in Oakland County “may also open soon.”

A representative from Oakland County could not be reached for comment at press time.

For more information on COVID-19, visit www.oakgov.com/covid. Call the Nurse on Call at (800) 848-5533 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Friday and 9 a.m.-noon Saturday with health-related questions. For all other COVID-19 questions, contact the COVID-19 Help Hotline at (248) 858-1000 or hotline@oakgov.com.