School Laboratory Partnership

For the second school year in a row, Kent County Health Department has partnered with a local Grand Rapids-based lab, Arctic Medical Laboratories, to provide for next day test results to your schools students and staff.  The partners of this collaborative are striving for next day notification of test results.  We want your students / school staff back in the classroom.



Your School

Your school has the direct relationship with school students and staff.  They are the frontline workers for this collaboration.

School admin staff will:

  • Communicate with parents, students and staff on the reasons and methods used in performing this test.
  • Assist in providing and gathering the test kits, working with the laboratory for pickup
  • Call positive cases to review isolation / return to school guidelines

Arctic Medical Laboratories

Arctic Medical Laboratories is the local testing authority and have committed to providing the test kits for this project.

Arctic Labs will:

  • Provide test kits
  • Provide the testing resources, both onsite administration and result processing
  • Provide courier services from the testing site to the lab.
  • Test collected saliva samples for markers of SAR-CoV-2 in saliva sampling kit for individuals.
  • Facilitate collection of insurance information and intake forms

Kent County Health Department

The Health Department will serve as the provider of technology and medical authority for this project.

KCHD will:

  • Provide medical oversight (our Medical Director is the Ordering Provider).
  • Engage our technology contractor (Patient Education Genius) to supply a HIPAA secure environment that delivers the lab intake form to the individual being tested.
  • Electronically deliver the results notification to the staff and students.
  • Provide assistance in managing positive case communication as needed.

Quick description of process:

  1. School students / staff are identified as test candidates
  2. Easy electronic registration form sent to parents of students / staff members and family members of both
  3. Saliva collection performed at 5 partnering school districts around Kent County in a safe contaminant free manner
  4. Lab will pickup and process results overnight
  5. School students / staff will be notified the next day of the results.

Partnering school districts:

  1. Forest Hills Public Schools
  2. Grand Rapids Public Schools
  3. Rockford Public Schools
  4. Sparta Public Schools
  5. Wyoming Public Schools

Description of Test

This saliva test is identical to that used for popular direct-to-consumer DNA testing for ancestry or disposition to common diseases. Testing is performed on 1 mL of saliva which has been deposited into an ergonomic collection device. This collection method has greater patient acceptability and the sampling process is less resource-intensive.  

Non-invasive and easy to administer.  The at-home sample collection minimizes the risk of viral transmission to others and reduces the demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care providers.


Instructions for the Test

Interpreting your COVID-19 test results:

After reading this section continue on to the next section – You have been tested, now what?


If you have a POSITIVE test result, it is very likely that you have COVID-19. Therefore, you should isolate yourself to avoid spreading the virus to others.

Your healthcare provider will work with you to determine how best to care for you based on the test results along with other factors of your medical history, and your symptoms, possible exposures, and geographic location of places you have recently traveled. There is a very small, but unlikely chance that this test can give a POSITIVE result that is wrong (a false positive result).


A NEGATIVE test result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in your sample. For COVID-19, a NEGATIVE test result for a sample collected while a person has symptoms usually means that COVID-19 did not cause your recent illness. However, it is possible for this test to give a NEGATIVE result that is incorrect (false negative) in some people with COVID-19. This means that you could possibly still have COVID-19 even though the test is NEGATIVE.

If you received this test because you had symptoms common in COVID-19, please work with your healthcare provider. If this is the case, your healthcare provider will consider the test result together with all other aspects of your medical history (such as symptoms, possible exposures, and geographical location of places you have recently traveled) in deciding how to care for you. It is important that you work with your healthcare provider to help you understand the next steps you should take.


If you have an INCONCLUSIVE test result, a marker that is found in COVID-19 was found in your sample, but not all markers common to COVID-19 were found. To be safe with your health and the health of the community, the Kent County Health Department treats INCONCLUSIVE results as POSITIVE results.

For each of these results, you should strongly consider retesting to verify COVID-19 status.

If you choose to retest, please continue to quarantine yourself until your test has been recollected and resulted.

If you have an INVALID test result, the Kent County Health Department strongly recommends that you consider retesting to verify your COVID-19 status.  Until results are known, please continue to quarantine yourself until your test has been recollected and resulted.

Use our Quarantine and Isolation Calculator to find out how long your isolation is likely to last.

You Have Been Tested for COVID-19 – Now What?

If you are Waiting for Lab Results…


Don’t leave home.  Limit your time outside the home to activities like receiving medical care.

Don’t share personal items.  Things like dishes, towels, and bedding should not be shared, even with family

Don’t use public transportation, if you have a choice.


Limit interaction with those around you.  Stay in a separate room (like a bedroom), away from others in your home.  Use a different bathroom, if you can.

Wear a mask or cloth face covering.  Make sure it covers your nose and mouth.  Remember to stay 6 feet away from people and pets.  People who are near you should also wear a mask or cloth face covering that covers their nose and mouth.

Use meal or grocery delivery services when possible.  You can ask family and friends for help.

Rest and drink water to stay hydrated.

Clean and disinfect things you touch (like light switches, doorknobs, tables and remotes.

Wash your hands.  Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If you do not have soap and water, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Cover cough and sneezes.  Cough or sneeze into your elbor or tissue, then wash your hands.

Consider those living with you.  If you live with older adults or people with health conditions, think about whether there are other places that you can stay while your get well.


If your COVID-19 test result is POSITIVE, follow the DO’s and DON’Ts on the Waiting for Lab Results tab PLUS the following:

Answer the call.  The Kent County Health Department will call to find out if other people around you might get sick.  They can also help answer questions that you may have.

Watch for severe symptoms or other health emergencies.  If you need to call 911, let them know that you have COVID-19.

Stay in contact with the health department.  They can help figure out when to end isolation.  Continue in isolation until you can check all 3 items below.

◊ It has been 10 days since your positive test result or 10 days since you began showing symptoms AND

◊ You have been fever free for 72 hours (3 days) without taking fever-reducing medication AND

◊ All symptoms have improved (your cough or shortness of breath improved).

If your COVID-19 test result is NEGATIVE, you MAY still have COVID-19 and be in the early part of the illness or get COVID-19 in the future.

If you develop symptoms:

Stay home and away from others.  Until 72 hours (3 days) after symptoms are gone.

Call your doctor.  Ask if you should be tested again, or for another illness, if you continue to have symptoms of COVID-19.

You Were Tested – Summary document.

Contact Tracing: What to Expect

If you get a call from the Kent County Health Department or MI COVID HELP, answering your phone is important to protect your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers.

Your name will not be shared with anyone.

You will never be asked for personal identification, like a Social Security Number, Driver’s License, imigration status or credit card information.

The contact tracer will ask how you are feeling and about people you were in contact with recently.  They can also share tips to get well and protect others.

You can find more information about COVID-19 at

For questions about your returned test results, call the Arctic Medical Labs

Customer Support line @ 616.747.0307

Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm

Saturday 8am to 12pm