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Health Department reports drop in COVID-19 testing

Health Department reports drop in COVID-19 testing

Test sites are operating below capacity; wait times for appointments and test results are low

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (Sept. 21, 2020) – The Kent County Health Department (KCHD) has seen a sharp decline in the number of people seeking appointments and getting tested for the coronavirus at the department’s three testing sites as well as partner sites in recent weeks. Several sites are operating well under capacity, with low or no wait time for appointments.

As a result, turnaround time for test results has dropped as well, with the vast majority of KCHD test results coming back within 48 hours, some as fast as 24-36 hours. Wait times for test results were running as high as seven to ten days at their peak in July.

“We want people to know that testing is free, quick, easy and available,” said Christopher Bendekgey, Community Clinical Services Division Director, Kent County Health Department. “People are still contracting the virus, but we suspect they’ve heard it’s hard to get an appointment or others have waited over a week for results, and they’re thinking, ‘why bother?’ But it’s vital that we continue to track and work to stop the spread of this disease in our community.”

In the recent weeks, the health department has seen a decline of about 300 test per week across its three sites. Other community partner testing sites are reporting similar lulls in their testing.

Testing sites with immediate availability include:

  • Kent County Health Department Fuller Clinic, 700 Fuller Ave NE, Grand Rapids MI 49503
  • Kent County Health Department South Clinic, 4700 Kalamazoo Ave, Kentwood MI 49508
  • Kent County Health Department Baxter test site, 935 Baxter St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
  • NxGen MDx test site located at LINC UP, 1167 Madison Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507

Tests at these locations are free and appointments at the health department sites can be made online or by calling (616) 632-7200. Appointments at the LINC UP site can be made by visiting https://nxgenmdx.com/covid-19-testing-mi/.

KCHD, in accordance with CDC guidelines, recommends a person get tested if:

  • You have symptoms of COVID-19, i.e.,

Any 1 of the following

  • Cough
  • Shortness of Breath
  • New loss of taste or smell

Or any 2 of the following

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • You’ve been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 (within 6 feet; 15 minutes)
  • You suspect you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
  • You are in a high COVID-19 transmission area and have attended a public or private gathering of more than 10 people where people weren’t wearing masks or social distancing.

Looking ahead, the department anticipates that some current test sites will close as other new sites come online.

For more information on COVID-19 and coronavirus testing, visit www.accesskent.com/health/coronavirus.

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