HOLLAND, Mich. — Michigan is leading the country in new COVID cases over a seven-day span, the CDC reported earlier this week. Ottawa County is one of the hardest hit. So, their department of public health is sounding the alarms and imploring people to get vaccinated in order to combat the disease.
“We surprisingly are in our latest surge and this surge has been going on for three months now unlike previous surges. In Ottawa County we're setting some pandemic records,” said Deputy Health Officer Marcia Mansaray during an interview with FOX 17 on Friday morning. “We actually got to 25.5 percent [in case positivity rate], which set a record. Our weekly, we only have two weeks in the pandemic that were higher than we were last week. One of those weeks is the week we’re in right at this moment.”
Mansaray said they’re currently averaging 330 cases per day, and 85 percent of their hospital beds are occupied and a quarter are battling COVID.
“We have more children last week admitted with COVID-19 to pediatric hospitals in our area than we have ever seen in the pandemic,” Mansaray said. “Yesterday, we had four kids on ventilators. That was new. So, we’re setting records we don’t want to be setting.”
According to a press release from the department, there were 484 positive pediatric cases last week alone.
Since COVID-19 spread to Michigan back in March 2020, Mansaray said she and the department have received drawings from kids and thank you cards, honoring them for their work. However, it’s hard seeing them get sick, she said.
“When I talk about that, sometimes it’s hard to keep my voice steady,” she said. “We’ve even had a parent who emailed us a video of their kid as they were taking them into the emergency room.”
So, Mansaray is imploring everyone to get vaccinated before the holidays, when things could get worse. She believes it’s the best way to beat COVID.
“We set another pandemic record with 0- to 4-year-olds. They’re at their highest case rate right now than they’ve ever been in the pandemic. They’re vulnerable. They can't get a vaccine,” Mansaray said. “So, when you gather, think about what you’ve been doing before you go to Thanksgiving or Christmas, and think about being at the table with grandma and the 9-month-old or the 3-month-old.”