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Health, school officials opening pop-up COVID testing sites as cases surge

Kent Co. Health Dept. and local schools districts are opening five sites at four different locations as COVID cases over the weekend topped 10,000
Posted at 5:53 PM, Apr 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-05 17:53:52-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — With COVID cases surging and students traveling for spring break, local health and school officials are planning to open five testing sites beginning this Friday April 9.

“It’s our hope that everybody in the county who has traveled and who fear that they might come in contact with it will pre-register and will get to these drive-thru sites for a quick COVID test before they return to school,” said Kent ISD Superintendent Ron Koehler. “But, this would include students families, students and staff.”

Koehler said on Saturday alone, COVID cases in the state rose to 8,400. By the end of the weekend, it hit 10,200.

The first site opens on Friday at noon at East Kentwood High School, followed by second site on Saturday April 10 at 11 a.m. at Kent ISD's main campus parking lot off of Knapp St. NE.

“This is not a statement that it is now OK to travel. Rather it’s a statement that says we know some people are going to travel,” said Joann Hoganson, director of community wellness for the Kent County Health Department. “We know people that are going to travel by airplane, even people that are traveling internationally. People are just really tired of staying home. It’s been a long year. The pandemic is dragging on and there’s many people that want their normal life back.”

Officials believe the pop-up COVID testing sites may get things back to normal before classes begin on April 12. Koehler said the tests are free, and they’ll get the results immediately and confidentially. And, it’s open to everyone: students, their families and staff.

Officials ask that travelers resister before going on vacation so they can get tested as soon as they return.

“Spring Break is a memory. But, spring is the time when schools create lasting memories for their students: prom, graduation, things that you’ll recall fondly all of your life,” Koehler said. “We would like all staff, students, family, and friends to do what they can to mitigate the spread of this virus and give all of our students the opportunity to enjoy their high school experience to the fullest.”

List of sites:

Friday, April 19
12p — 7p
East Kentwood High School
6230 Kalamazoo Ave SE, Kentwood, MI 49508
Pre-register here [honumg.info]

Saturday, April 10
11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Kent ISD Main Campus, Parking Lot #11
2930 Knapp St. NE, Grand Rapids MI, 49525
Pre-register here [honumg.info]

Sunday, April 11
11am — 6p
Kent ISD Main Campus, Parking Lot #11
2930 Knapp St. NE, Grand Rapids MI, 49525
Pre-register here [honumg.info]

9a — 4p
Grandville High School
4700 Canal Ave SW, Grandville, MI 49418
Pre-register here [honumg.info]

12p — 7p
Sparta High School
475 West Spartan Drive, Sparta, MI 49345
Pre-register here [honumg.info]