KENT COUNTY, Mich. — There were long wait times at coronavirus testing sites across Kent County this weekend as families looked for a negative result after spring break, allowing them to go back to work and school.
“Got here at 1 o’clock and what is it? 4? We just got tested about 4:05 p.m.,” said Ben Outwater, a Grandville parent who took his son to get tested on Sunday. “I think everybody freaked out and everybody’s getting in line and trying to get it taken care of.”
The Kent County Health Department partnered with Kent ISD and local school districts to offer both a rapid and PCR option to community members free of charge at four locations in Kentwood, Grandville, Northeast Grand Rapids, and Sparta.
“They [ her daughter and three friends ] all play soccer, so we’ve got to get tested per the state mandate,” said Lisa Sheldon, a parent.
Health officials say the testing is critical to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. Michigan leads the country in new infections. Kent County on Saturday averaged 347 per day after being well below 100 per day this time last month.
“It’s a way for families to be sure, a way for students to be sure, and it’s just again another safety precaution in place,” said Roger Bearup, superintendent for Grandville Public Schools.
Organizers were still tallying the totals, but each site drew hundreds of people out each day.