Sites open for post-spring break COVID-19 testing

GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The Murali family, just back from Myrtle Beach, tried to make it a safe trip by following the rules meant to keep COVID-19 at bay.

“We avoided staying around big groups. We didn’t go anywhere inside a room with anyone, but we still think that it’s the best choice to get ourselves tested,” Nanda Murali said.

There’s concern that even those taking precautions can be exposed, especially with more transmissible variants so prevalent.

While the young seem to be able to battle COVID-19 better than others, they can still spread it among friends and older adults, like family members and teachers.

“Testing is the best way to create mitigation for the spread. We don’t want the spread to continue, so testing helps us eliminate that,” Kent Intermediate School District Spokesperson Joy Walczak said.

The Kent ISD, with some help from the Kent County and state health departments, are sponsoring a series of COVID-19 testing sites this weekend. The tests are free. A rapid test will give you results in minutes and PCR tests, which take a few days to produce a results, are also available.

Additional testing sites at the ISD headquarters on Knapp Street NE, as well as in Grandville and Sparta, will also open this weekend.

“It’s drivethru, no touch. It just takes a matter of minutes and we really hope the community will take advantage of this free opportunity,” said Walczak.

As of Friday afternoon, over 1,600 families had signed up to take a test.

“We definitely expect to have good numbers this weekend. A lot of people are interested in this pre-registration and in this testing process. And we’re hoping many families come out and take advantage of this free service to our community,” said Walczak.

For Maya Murali — who brought her family to the testing site — and the hundreds of other families lining up at East Kentwood to get swabbed, it’s the responsible thing to do.

“It’s good that they are doing this for the students who are coming back from out of state from spring break. ” Maya Murali said.