Kent County Health Department officials are reporting a recent decline in the number of COVID-19 tests being scheduled and administered at its testing sites, which are now operating below capacity.
Health officials reported a decline of roughly 300 tests per week at its three sites in recent weeks. The lull has led to no wait times for appointments as well as a faster turnaround on results, some as quickly as 24-36 hours.
“We want people to know that testing is free, quick, easy and available,” Christopher Bendekgey, director of Kent County’s Community Clinical Services Division, said in a statement. “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.”
The county reports “immediate availability” at two testing sites in Grand Rapids — at 700 Fuller Ave. NE and 935 Baxter St. SE — and at 4700 Kalamazoo Ave. in Kentwood. Local nonprofit LINC UP also has immediate availability at a testing site at 1167 Madison Ave. SE in Grand Rapids.
As of Sept. 19, Kent County has reported 8,572 positive cases of COVID-19 and 164 deaths. Since March, 229,572 COVID-19 tests — an average of 1,221 a day — have been administered in Kent County, with a 3.0 percent positivity rate. Over the past seven days, the county has averaged 2,113 tests a day with a 2.6 percent positivity rate.