COVID-19 Guidance

COVID Information:

This resource includes information for the following topics:

  • Testing Options – when to get tested and where to get tested
  • Timeline for returning to school after a positive COVID test or household exposure
  • Symptoms of COVID
  • Vaccine Guidance


Types of tests:

  • PCR or NAAT- used for symptomatic or asymptomatic people – results are usually back within 48 hours (NAAT test results are sometimes back within 1 hour)
  • Rapid Antigen – used only for asymptomatic people – results are usually back within 15-30 minutes.

Which test do I need?

  • If your child has symptoms of COVID or has been identified as a close contact, a PCR or NAAT test must be done
  • A rapid test can be done as a quick confirmation of positive COVID result or for required testing for asymptomatic people (for example, testing required for international travel or to attend certain venues).
  • Please note: A PCR/NAAT test is more reliable than a rapid test. Rapid tests are known to produce false negatives, however, if a rapid test is positive, it has almost always been backed up as positive by a PCR/NAAT test.

How do I get a PCR/NAAT test?

  • NxGenMdx has results within 24 hours as of 11/3/2021. Here is the link.
  • HelixMDX, Drive through, no appointment needed @ MSA Sport Spot. Here is the link to the location and to register for the test.
  • Testing for Kent County school staff and students is now available at several school locations in Kent County. This testing is available to staff and students ONLY who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
    • Step 1: Schedule your appointment here:  COVID testing site scheduler (you are welcome to sign up at the most convenient location through this scheduler).
    • Step 2: Complete the registration paperwork for your appointment using this link.
  • NAAT Testing at Meijer Pharmacy: For NAAT test scheduling at Meijer and other options, please click here.
  • Mercy Health – this does not require a referral and can be scheduled online at this website. Insurance should cover the cost but you will want to check into that before the test.

If you are not able to schedule with any of the above resources, please see these additional options:

  • Call your physician and see what options they suggest. Ask them to give you a referral to the Spectrum Health drive up at 1300 Michigan. Sometimes it takes time to get in to see a doctor. If that is true for you, use one of the other options listed in this section.
  • Spectrum Health drive up at 1300 Michigan – This requires a referral from your doctor or you can set up an on demand visit through MyChart. Results from the 1300 Michigan site are often within 30 hours of taking the test. You can find details about Spectrum Health’s testing process here. *As of 10/7/2021 Spectrum is only providing referrals for symptomatic people. Please check into other options if you are looking for a test and are asymptomatic.
  • Another option is to visit an Urgent Care. You may have to pay the copay for urgent care and the results can be as fast as a few hours to 48 hours depending on where you go. Many families have received results within hours when they visit AFC Urgent Care at 1740 28th St SE. Call 616-323-3999 to make an appointment.
  • We do not recommend getting a PCR test at Rite Aid or Walgreens as the results have been taking a full 7 days to be returned to parents.
  • These and other options are available at the Kent County Health Department website and at michigan.gov.

How do I get a Rapid Antigen Test?

  • A rapid antigen test that you can do at home are available for purchase at Walgreens, Rite Aid and Meijer stores. Supply can be limited.
  • Neighborhood Pop Up Sites – search by Kent County to see available locations and times
  • GRCDC also has a supply of rapid tests that may be used by families. Please call the office for more information.

What are the symptoms that require an alternative diagnosis or a COVID test?

    • All of the following are symptoms of COVID: Fever over 100.5, chills, headache, extreme tiredness/fatigue, sore throat, new congestion or runny nose, body aches, nausea/vomiting or diarrhea, new cough, loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath
    • If anyone in your household has one of these symptoms, please see the level 1 and level 2 descriptions below to determine your next step. 
  • PLEASE NOTE: If your child has had a COVID exposure and has even just one COVID symptom, they must stay home and contact the school office for further guidance. The levels below only apply to situations in which there is no known COVID exposure.
  • Level 1: An alternative diagnosis or a COVID test is needed if you or your child has ONE of the following symptoms
    • New cough
    • Loss of taste or smell
    • Shortness of breath
  • Level 2: An alternative diagnosis or a COVID test is needed if you or your child has any combination of TWO of the symptoms below;
    • Fever over 100.5
    • Chills
    • Headache
    • Extreme tiredness/fatigue
    • Sore throat
    • New congestions or runny nose
    • Body aches
    • Nausea/vomiting or diarrhea
  • In our experience so far at GRCDC a prominent symptom for children is a headache.
  • If your student experiences one symptom from level 1 above, you must seek a healthcare evaluation.
  • If your student has only one symptom from level 2 above, they do not need to seek a healthcare evaluation, however, you may want to keep them home to make sure no other symptoms develop.

Please remember:

Do not send students to school if a sibling or other household member has symptoms that indicate an alternative diagnosis or COVID test is needed (as described above). Do not send students to school while a household member is waiting for COVID test results. You should also not participate in playdates, go to crowded events or participate in other types of get togethers while symptomatic or waiting for test results.


What happens if my child tests positive for COVID? What if someone in my household tests positive for COVID?

  • If your GRCDC student tests positive for COVID, the student must quarantine for 10 days. Once 10 days have passed, if symptoms are improving AND there is no fever/vomiting diarrhea for 24 hours, your student may return to school. The office will give you a timeline for the return to school.
  • If someone in your household tests positive for COVID, here are the scenarios:
    • Fully vaccinated students:
      • Students are considered fully vaccinated once a full 2 weeks have passed since the 2nd dose. 
      • Students who are fully vaccinated and exposed to a COVID positive person may attend school under the following circumstances: The student has NO SYMPTOMS of COVID. 
        • If the student develops even one symptom of COVID, they must stay home and get a PCR test or alternative diagnosis from a doctor. Documentation must be sent to the office of the PCR test or doctor’s note. 
      • The student must be masked at all times, including recess. The student will eat lunch/snack in an isolated spot in the classroom and not be within 6 feet of any other student while their mask is off at any time during the school day. 
      • These precautions can end if the student is able to get a PCR/NAAT COVID test (not a rapid test) on the 5th day after exposure to the COVID positive person and as long as the test is negative. 
    • Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated students:
      • Unvaccinated  students who live in the same house as someone who tests positive for COVID-19 must remain out of school the entire time the family member is in isolation (typically 10 days) plus additional days of quarantine (see below for details). The total time out of school could be 20 days.  This date is determined from the date the COVID symptoms.
      • You may choose to have your child tested on or after the 5th day after the last day of the isolation period as long as your child is not symptomatic for COVID. If the test is negative, your child may return to school on day 8 after the last day of the isolation period. The test must be a PCR or NAAT test, not a rapid antigen test. The office will let you know the timeline for the return to school.


COVID Vaccine Guidance for children age 5-11: Here are answers to some of the questions we have received from families about the vaccine protocols for children age 5-11.

  • Fully Vaccinated: Individuals are considered fully vaccinated when it has been 2 weeks since receiving the 2nd dose of the COVID vaccine.
  • Vaccine Records: We do not need to have your vaccine records on file. You will want to keep the vaccination record handy though. If your child is identified as a close contact in the classroom and the student is fully vaccinated, no quarantine will be required unless the student starts showing symptoms of COVID. The office will ask for proof of the vaccination dates at that time. 
  • Vaccine Appointments: Here are a few options for obtaining a vaccine appointment:
  • Vaccine Side Effects: The following are NOT side effects of the vaccine, new cough, loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath. If your child is experiencing one of those symptoms after receiving the vaccine, they should stay home and get a PCR test. Additionally, any child with two of the following symptoms should stay home: fever, chills, headache, extreme tiredness, sore throat, new congestion/runny nose, body aches, nausea/vomiting or diarrhea. There is some overlap in these symptoms with vaccine side effects, particularly the headache and tiredness. If these issues are not resolved within 48 hours, please call your child’s doctor to see if they think you need a COVID test. Please note: As always, students should be fever/vomiting/diarrhea free for 24 hours without the use of medication before returning to school.