As our world opens up just a wee bit more from the pandemic, people are feeling safer flying. Travel from the Ford Airport here in Grand Rapids is up significantly. But, what about the virus? If you have to prove you are negative, especially for international travel, what are you to do? No problem at the Gerald Ford International Airport!

Our Airport is one of the first in the nation to offer rapid molecular PCR tests. They started offering the tests Wednesday by expanding its partnership with TACKL Health.

Fox 17 reported that it is a simple process. The drive-up, no-appointment-needed site has added a rapid PCR option that provides results in 30 minutes, down from its past offering of 24 to 72 hours. PCR tests are thought to be more accurate than rapid antigen tests and are now required by many countries before international travel.

The testing site is open daily from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. and those wanting to be tested do not need to have COVID-19 symptoms or a doctor’s referral.

The one daunting question is, what happens if I do test positive? The website Simple Travel says, "you should NOT travel if you test positive for COVID-19 before a flight. Regardless of the circumstances, traveling while infected risks the safety of the person infected and everyone they come in contact with. Even if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 any time before the flight takes off, it’s best not to board the aircraft and inform nearby staff."

TACKL Health has administered more than 4,500 tests since opening the testing site in December. The rapid PCR tests will cost $275 per person.

In addition to its rapid antigen test, TACKL Health is also introducing a new rapid antibody test that checks for antibodies. This test is administered through a finger prick and should have results available within 20 minutes. The test will cost $65 as a standalone service or $45 with the purchase of another service.

Testing is set up in the airport’s economy lot and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.


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