Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 17, 2021 – Buoyed by the initial success of its rapid COVID-19 testing site, the Gerald R. Ford International Airport is expanding its partnership with TACKL Health to offer rapid molecular PCR tests starting Wednesday, March 17, again making it one of the first airports in the nation to do so.
The drive-up, no-appointment-needed site has added a rapid PCR option that provides results in 30 minutes, down from its offering of 24-72 hours. PCR tests are widely recognized as more accurate than rapid antigen tests and are now required by many countries before international travel.
The testing site is open daily from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. Those wishing to be tested do not need to have COVID-19 symptoms or a doctor’s referral.
“As travel demand continues to grow, some destinations, especially international, increasingly require a PCR test before entering,” said Stephen Clark, director of commercial development for the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority. “Results for these tests have historically taken 24-48 hours, so the 30-minute turnaround is a huge benefit to our guests.
“We are gratified to be able to expand this much-needed service to our community. Since we opened this site in mid-December, we have had overwhelming demand, with some guests traveling from Chicago, Marquette and Detroit for the peace of mind a test can bring.”
Since opening the testing site in December, TACKL Health has administered more than 4,500 tests.
“We are thrilled with the success of the site,” said Lauren Hetzel, co-founder and vice president of business development for TACKL Health. “Our goal in working with the Ford Airport has always been to provide a service that benefits both the traveling community and the local community as a whole.
“Now, with the introduction of 30 minute PCR tests, we are able to provide that access to international travel. Rather than waiting 24-72 hours for test results, you can have your results within a matter of minutes.”
Increasing demand prompted TACKL to offer the rapid PCR test, which will cost $275 per person. Ford Airport anticipates this test should work for most domestic and international destinations, but guests should consult their carrier or destination to ensure they receive the proper test before departing.
In addition to its rapid antigen test, TACKL Health is also introducing a new rapid antibody test that checks for both IgM and IgG antibodies. This test is administered through a finger prick and should have results available within 20 minutes. The test will cost $65 as a standalone service or $45 with the purchase of another service.
“The site continues to be open to all in the community, not just those traveling through the Ford Airport,” Clark said. “We have been pleased that this offering has allowed so many families to gather safely for the holidays and other important events.”
Testing is set up in the Airport’s economy lot and is on a first-come, first-served basis. When guests arrive, they will need to fill out an intake form using a QR code. If they are unable to access the form or need assistance, a technician will be available at the testing site.
Payment can be made within the intake form using credit, but cash can also be accepted. TACKL Health does not currently accept health insurance.
TACKL Health provides full-service workplace health and COVID-19 solutions, including rapid mobilization for large-scale COVID-19 testing. The company is partnering with Grand Rapids-based NxGen MDx for lab testing.
For more information on the testing site, visit tacklhealth.com/grr or call 616.816.1280.
About the Ford Airport
The Gerald R. Ford International Airport is the second busiest airport in Michigan, serving business and leisure travelers with nonstop and connecting flights on six airlines. The Ford Airport is managed and operated by the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority. For more information, visit www.flyford.org or follow the airport on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @FlyGRFord.
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