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Spectrum Health opens drive-up specimen collection site for COVID-19

The site is not for drive-up screenings or on-demand specimen collection, but rather for those who have a physician’s order.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Spectrum Health has opened a drive-up specimen collection center for COVID-19. The center is being used as a way to expedite collecting specimens from individuals who have a physician's order to be tested. 

The center is not a site for screening, testing or on-demand collection. But it is a safe, fast way for specimens to be collected for testing at the state lab. 

"Now is a time of need in our community and we want to be here for our patients at Spectrum," Keith Hustak, vice president of operations and APP services at Spectrum Health said.

The drive-up collection is by appointment only. Individuals must first schedule a free COVID-19 screening with Spectrum Health, by calling 616-391-2380. If after the screening a health provider determines the patient a high risk for COVID-19, they will be scheduled for a specimen collection.

"The tests have been hard to come by...we do have tests; however, we can't just test anyone though. If you don't have symptoms, we really don't want to test you, because need to save those for patients and employees who do need testing," Hustak said.

Both the screening and specimen collection are free through the state of Michigan. However, Hustak said with the high volume of tests, Spectrum Health has employed the work of commercial labs, which could impact cost.

"Those commercial labs there is a price to them, but what we’re hearing kind of nationally is that insurance companies are going to cover that. That is still to be determined though," he explained.

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During the specimen collection, the patient will stay in their car the entire process, and all medical personnel will be in protective gear.

"Our healthcare workers are at highest risk, because they’re obviously in contact with these patients, so very important that we use all the CDC recommends," Hustak said.

Spectrum Health is working with other West Michigan health care groups on this initiative, which include Metro Health, Mercy Health, Cherry Health and local health officials.

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Hustak said the drive-up specimen collection site has currently served about 18 individuals, three during its soft open and 15 more the following day. He added that Spectrum Health intends to expand the drive-in's reach to other areas as time allows.

"We have this site here in Grand Rapids, but we actually want to maybe bring our regional sites, regional hospitals in, so that we kind of start scaling this to a larger level. And that will happen hopefully over the next week," Hustak said.

The location is 1300 Michigan St. in Grand Rapids and is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the next two weeks. 

Spectrum Health said this is what to expect following a test:

  • Specimens are sent to the state lab for testing
  • Results should come in three days
  • Spectrum Health will contact people with results

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