Laboratory Testing COVID-19 Information

Last updated 12/28/2022, last reviewed 12/28/22 by Laboratory Services

PATIENTS interested in COVID-19 TESTING, please refer to the Spectrum Health COVID-19 Page:

FACILITIES that would like to receive TESTING for STAFF and/or RESIDENTS, please contact: 616.486.1075 or email

The Laboratory does not administer vaccinations. Please refer to for vaccine information from Spectrum Health.


The following information is for OUTPATIENT PROVIDERS, APPS and CLINICIANS that wish to order COVID-19 testing:

Spectrum Health Inpatient and Emergency Department providers, please refer to InSite.



Please refer to Healthcare Professionals Resource Page for more info on Covid-19.


Nares vs Nasopharyngeal (document)

COVID-19 Total Antibody test (lab catalog)

Symptoms of COVID-19 (CDC guidelines)


Spectrum Health is not able to provide return-to-work/school or testing for travel purposes.


1. In Epic, Epic Community Connect or EpicCare Link:

LAB1230607 – COVID-19 PCR for Nasopharyngeal or Nares Swab

LAB1230810- COVID-19 Total Antibody for an antibody blood draw

Please answer all Ask at Order Entry questions. If you are unsure how to place an order for lab testing, please go to the Epic Training page on InSite or contact your Epic trainer.

2. In your EMR:

COVID-19 PCR (Swab) – Order alias: 1230607

COVID-19 Total Antibody – Order alias: 1230810

Please answer all Ask at Order Entry questions. If you have questions, please direct them to your EMR vendor or the Spectrum Health eSHare team via helpdesk ticket.

3. If you are unable to order electronically

Please fill out a paper requisition: COVID-19 Requisition and fax to the Lab Orders Team at 616-774-7696, 48 hours in advance.

Please be sure to fill out all information, including the billing information section and diagnosis and answer any questions.


Patients will need an order from their provider prior to scheduling a COVID-19 test. If the patient does not have a provider, they may utilize the SHNow On Demand Visit via MyChart or find testing site options on



There must be an order in the system, see how to order above.


If you collect the specimen in your office:

Make sure the specimen container and the order match, with full, legal patient name and date of birth, specimen collection date and time and source on both the specimen and the order.

Make sure the cap is secure. Leaky specimens may cause compromised results and may erase patient data on the tube.

Specimen containers with incorrect patient information may be discarded. Please follow the directions above.

Electronic order (Epic/EMR interface): Make sure to mark the specimen as collected.

Paper order: Send the paper order with the specimen.

Please also review “Supplies for Collection in Office” below


If you are not collecting the specimens in the office and need to route your patient to a collection site:

Spectrum Health does not accommodate walk-ins. Please direct the patient to schedule a test collection:

Scheduling via MyChart: once an order has been placed in the system. 


• All sites are self-collection only. Please make sure patients are aware that they will be given instructions on Nares self-collection and observed by the phlebotomist or clinical staff. For pediatric patients, a parent or guardian will collect the nares specimen.  If the parent or guardian is uncomfortable with collecting the specimen, please have them call the COVID scheduling line to schedule at a location with clinical staff trained to collect a pediatric specimen.

• Masks will need to be worn by patient before and after collection, and family before, during and after collection.

MORE INFORMATION: (Including Pediatric Patient Scheduling): COVID-19 Screening and Testing




If you are a Spectrum Health location (SH/SHMG), please order supplies via Workday.

Please refer to the test catalog for specimen collection information: COVID-19 

If you are a non-Spectrum Health entity and are a Spectrum Health Client and have a routine Spectrum Health Laboratory courier

Please fill out a supply form: COVID Supply form or write in “COVID Swabs” on your supply form.

Please allow 3 – 5 business days for delivery.

Please refer to the test catalog for specimen collection information: COVID-19 


There are multiple COVID-19 specimen collection media available for testing. We realize that you may order a particular type of swab or media, however, be aware that we may change your order to a different type swab or media depending on availability. Please be assured that the swab or media you will be receiving can still be used for COVID-19 specimen collection.

As the demand for testing increases, the quantity of supplies delivered may vary from your original order depending on supply availability.

If you do not have a courier route with Spectrum Health Laboratories, please use the Lab Request link at the top of the page to begin the client account set-up. This may take 2-4 weeks to complete. 




PPE Guidelines

Laboratory Specimen Collection: COVID-19 Test Information


Make sure specimen is properly labeled with 2 patient identifiers

Make sure label is placed correctly: Label placement guide

Immediately refrigerate specimen after collection and maintain at this temperature during transport to lab or pickup by courier.




Cold packs/pouches should be used in a styrofoam, or similar type, cooler to transport priority transport bags containing specimens. It is imperative to keep specimen bags dry.

Courier Pick Up: If you have a routine courier route set up, please wait for your courier to pick up specimens in your office or lockbox. Make sure lockbox is properly packed for refrigerated specimens.

Specimen Drop Off: If you do not have a routine courier route set up, please drop off the specimen at the Spectrum Health Medical Center in Grand Rapids, MI (maintain refrigerated transport temp)

Instructions for specimen drop off




Results will be sent electronically or via fax to the ordering provider based on the information currently in our system, once the test has been completed and verified. This may take up to 3 days or more. Antibody testing currently takes 3-5 days. As the demand for testing increases, turnaround time may be impacted.

Your patient will also receive their results immediately in MyChart, Spectrum Health’s patient portal.

Further patient care, notifications and return to work orders should be completed by your practice.




Health Care Professional Resources (including PPE and Disinfection)

Lab Test Directory and Specimen Collection Guides

Ordering and Collection Information

COVID-19 Testing Platforms with Fact Sheet for Providers and Patients

COVID 19 PCR testing has been issued an emergency use authorization by the FDA. For more information about the test and its authorized use, please see FDA Emergency Use Authorizations.


If you have further questions or inquiries, please use the “contact us” link above.

Note: this email is monitored Monday – Friday from 9am – 4pm, excluding holidays. You will be contacted in 2-5 business days.