Laboratory Testing COVID-19 Information

Last updated 1/19/21, last reviewed 2/3/21 by Laboratory Services

If you are PATIENT interested in COVID-19 TESTING, please refer to the Spectrum Health COVID-19 Page:  or

If you are a FACILTY and would like to receive TESTING for your 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:

Inpatient and Emergency Department providers, please refer to InSite.


Effective Wednesday, December 23rd, patients can qualify for a Covid-19 test if they have any symptoms of Covid-19 or have had a known exposure (close contact within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more) with someone with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 at least four days ago.

Beginning November 16, we are no longer able to accommodate walk-ins/drive-ups without a scheduled appointment at any of our COVID-19 testing locations. To schedule a testing appointment, please refer to Spectrum Health’s patient portal: MyChart.

Nares vs Nasopharyngeal (document)

COVID-19 IgG Antibody test

Symptoms of COVID-19 (CDC guidelines)

Testing criteria (CDC guidelines)


Please note that in all instances, patients will need to schedule a collection via MyChart or the Screening hotline.

In Epic, Epic Community Connect or EpicCare Link:

LAB1230607 – COVID-19 PCR for Nasopharyngeal or Nares Swab

LAB1230623 – COVID-19 IgG 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.

In your EMR:

COVID-19 PCR – Order alias: 1230607

COVID-19 IgG Antibody – Order alias: 1230623

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.

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 a day in advanced.

Please be sure to fill out all information, including the billing information section.

In MyChart or COVID-19 Screening Hotline

Patients may be directed to access MyChart for online screening and test scheduling. Based on symptoms, the patient will be scheduled at the collection site available for the appropriate method.

If the patient has an existing order from a Spectrum Provider, the patient can still schedule through MyChart

Pre-procedural screening cannot be scheduled through MyChart.

Results will not automatically go to a provider if they do not receive results from Spectrum Health electronically.

In order to get results, the provider should instruct the patient to request their results get cc’d to the provider at the time of their collection.

Be screened over the phone by calling the Spectrum Health COVID-19 hotline at 833.559.0659. The hotline should be used by those who have never received services at Spectrum Health, require an interpreter or special assistance, or are a pre-procedure or surgery patient.


If you collect the specimen in your office

Make sure the specimen and the order match, with patient name and date of birth on both the specimen and order

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

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:

1. Virtual screening and test self-scheduling via MyChart: OR

2. After the order is placed, patients may schedule a test by calling the COVID-19 Hotline: 833.559.0659 or 616.391.2380. Pick the appropriate language option, then choose option 3.

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

Please fill out a supply form: COVID Supply form

While we strive for next day delivery, but please allow 3 – 5 business days for delivery.

If you do not have a courier route with Spectrum Health Laboratories

We are not taking on new COVID-19 clients at this time.


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 in MyChart, Spectrum Health’s patient portal.

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

As of November 11, 2020, all patients that registered for COVID testing using MyChart, test results will be available in their MyChart account immediately upon test completion. This will be the only notification by Spectrum Health for those patients.


Provider Testing FAQ

Health Care Professionals Resource Page

Spectrum Health Lab Test Directory and Specimen Collection Guides

Ordering and Collection Information

COVID-19 IgG Antibody Serology Testing Information

Collection Instructions

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

Spectrum Health COVID-19 Health Care Professional Resources (including PPE and Disinfection)

CDC Official Coding Guidelines for COVID-19

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 8am – 4pm, excluding holidays. You will be contacted in 2-5 business days.