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Grand Rapids' Homeless population are tested for COVID-19

Health care professional tests person staying at Mel Trotter's Ministries for coronavirus
Mercy Health Saint Mary's

This past week, in coordination with Kent County Health Department, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s and Cherry Health tested over 200 people staying at Mel Trotter Ministries in downtown Grand Rapids for COVID-19. 

“Between Monday and Tuesday we were able to test 251 individuals and 69 of those tested positive.”

That’s Doctor Andrew Jameson. He’s the Division Chief of Infectious Diseases at Mercy Health Physician Partners. He says all those who have tested positive and have symptoms are being quarantined at Guiding Light Mission and those without symptoms are quarantined at another location in the county. While folks being quarantined in these locations are encouraged to stay there they are not required to. 

“Part of the solution to keep people safe at Mel Trotter is testing because what testing is able to do is we know that testing can identify people up to two days before they are symptomatic and so you have the potential and the opportunity with routine screening to actually remove people before they start spreading significantly to everyone else.” 

According to Mel Trotter’s CEO, Dennis VanKampen they have taken extra cleaning precautions since the beginning of March.

“Everyone, staff and guests, are required to wear a mask when they are inside the building. We do temperature checks and other screenings on every staff and guests multiple times a day.”

If anyone does have any symptoms, they are referred to Mercy Health for evaluation and treatment. 

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