Here' good news! Spectrum Health announced that new COVID-19 testing equipment and additional supplies are making it possible for more people in West Michigan to be tested.

More people who previously wouldn’t qualify for testing may now be tested for COVID-19. Currently, a medical provider screens all patients to determine whether they should be tested for COVID-19.

Until recently, testing was reserved for people showing severe symptoms, Spectrum Health employees with symptoms, hospital inpatients with suspected COVID-19 and other high-risk patients. Now, Spectrum Health can test patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms, and are tested at the Spectrum Health Regional Lab in Grand Rapids, which typically produces results in less than 24 hours. The health system has the capacity to run 1,000 tests each day.

A key benefit of quicker results is less time spent in isolation waiting for results for patients who eventually turn out to be negative. Another is the reduction in need for PPE, which continues to be in short supply.

People in the state of Michigan who are experiencing symptoms may call the Spectrum Health hotline at 833.559.0659 to be scheduled for a free virtual screening. Anyone with severe or life-threatening symptoms should call 911.