GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — More equipment needed to test for coronavirus is on the way to Kent County health care providers.
That should result in more testing and a better idea of the virus’s impact locally.
“I think we’re starting to see that everyone’s recognizing the importance of the situation, the urgency of the situation,” Christopher Bendekgey, the Kent County Health Department‘s clinical services director, said.
An example is the shipment of much needed testing supplies on the way to Kent County from the federal government.
“We don’t know what will be on those strategic national stockpiles,” Bendekgey said. “When it arrives, we don’t really have a lot of information on what’s in that.”
But whatever is on board that shipment should help. The lack of testing kits, masks and other personal protection equipment for health care workers has been the biggest obstacle when it comes to testing for coronavirus.
“A lot of the limitations unfortunately right now are PPE and testing kits. So as soon as I think more people get comfortable with what’s on hand, we’ll see some sites going up really quickly,” Bendekgey said.
By sites, he meant additional drive-thru sample collection locations set up by local hospitals and other health care providers, like the one already being run by Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids.
There will still be a limited number of test kits, so you’ll still need to be screened and set up an appointment before being tested.
“We want to make sure that the resources are going to those that need them,” Bendekgey said.
The test involves a nostril swab.
Testing kits are just part of the process. Those test need to be analyzed, and there is better news on that front.
“We have a lot of private labs, Quest and some of the others, in addition to the state lab. They’re really able to turn out these tests quickly and get us results,” Bendekgey said.
Once more drive-thru sites are up and running, don’t just show up and expect to be swabbed. You’ll still have to call ahead, be screened by a medical professional to determine if your symptoms warrant a test and schedule an appointment.