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Kent County Health department explains increasing cases of COVID-19 in West Michigan

Posted at 8:12 PM, Apr 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 20:21:51-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Kent County Health Department says the reason behind increasing cases of COVID 19 in the area is due to more tests being available.

“I think we expected this. We spent a lot of time in West Michigan, kind of creeping up in our curve. You know, a few cases in a day, 10 cases in a day, 20 cases in a day. So, but part of that was that not everybody could get tested,” Kent County Health Department Supervising Epidemiologist Brian Hartl said.

Now, anyone even with the mildest of symptoms can be tested.

“I think we’ve talked all along that we were missing cases, when we’re only testing specific groups of people. So now that testing has expanded, we’re testing more people who have symptoms, so it’s just kind of natural to know when you look for it, you’re going to find it,” Hartl said.

They also explain that the health department is testing in areas they know to be highly concentrated with people, like jails, long term care facilities and shelters, because they may have a higher number of cases.

“Over the past couple of days, we’ve done 251 tests of those most vulnerable settings where lots of people live together. We’ve found that of those 251 tests, 69 of them, 27%, came back positive,” Kent County Health Department's Dr. London said.

Those who are in concentrated areas are able to move to an isolated location within Kent County while they recover.