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Kent County Health Department sees drop in COVID-19 testing

Posted at 6:00 PM, Sep 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-21 18:00:39-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Kent County Health Department says it’s seen a “sharp decline” in the number of people looking to get tested for the coronavirus.

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

Several sites are operating well under capacity, with low or no wait time for appointments, a news release said Monday.

Turnaround time for test results has dropped as a result, with the vast majority of results coming back within 48 hours, some as fast as 24-36 hours.

At their peak, wait times for test results were running as high as seven to 10 days in July.

“We want people to know that testing is free, quick, easy and available,” said Christopher Bendekgey, community clinical services division director for the 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.”

Testing sites with immediate availability include:

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

Appointments can be made by calling 616-632-7200.