COVID-19 testing expands in Kalamazoo, Kent counties

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Two health groups in West Michigan are expanding their testing capabilities beginning Friday as well as who now qualifies for a COVID-19 test.

The goal of both new testing sites is to diagnose people with COVID-19 quicker. One of them is operated by Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids and the other is by Family Health Center in Kalamazoo.

The director of infectious diseases at Mercy Health St. Mary’s says this increased testing is needed if we want to reopen the economy.

“What needs to be in place for that to happen is the ability to rapidly test people,” said Dr. Andrew Jameson, the Medical Director of Infection Control at Mercy Health St. Mary’s. “Otherwise, we will get a massive spike again and we will be in the same situation as Southeast Michigan, so if we do not have the capacity to test people outside of the high risk groups and outside of a hospital stay, then we will never get on top of this and we will lose control again.”

Those who would like to get tested at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s only have to be experiencing mild symptoms and no longer have to be considered at-risk. You would first call health officials and then a nurse on the phone will assess your symptoms and decide if you meet criteria to get tested. Results will be available within 24 hours.

If you’d think you need to get tested, you can call Mercy Health Saint Mary’s at 616-685-2683 and be referred to its new clinic if you meet the criteria. You can also visit its website.

In Kalamazoo, Family Health Center is providing curbside testing for everyone in the county. That’ll take place at Stone Church on 1225 W. Patterson Street Pre-registration is required and they’re anticipating to test about 100 people a day. Those results should be available within 24 to 48 hours.

For those in Kalamazoo, call 269.488.0804 or online. That drive-through testing center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

TRACKING CORONAVIRUS: