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First COVID-19 related death at Spectrum reported

Spectrum Health
Posted at 7:50 PM, Mar 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-21 23:26:55-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — Spectrum Health announced a man in his 70s has died after testing positive for COVID-19.

“On behalf of Spectrum Health and the clinical team dedicated to caring for this patient, we extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of this individual,” said Joshua Kooistra, DO, chief medical officer, Spectrum Health. “We were saddened by his death and realize it is difficult news for our community as we face the reality of the COVID-19 outbreak. All of our team members, from clinicians to support staff, are committed to caring for our COVID-19 patients. We are united with our communities in fighting this virus together.”

The hospital tells FOX 17 they have put in months of planning to expand operations for care of patients. Six hundred tests have been sent to state-run labs as well as tested on-site in Grand Rapids labs.

The Kent County Health Department said the man had underlying health issues, which can contribute to the severity of symptoms leading to complications and risk of fatality from the virus. Kent County officials are encouraging everyone to adhere to the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and limit gathering to 10 people or fewer and be especially considerate of gatherings involving people who are at higher risk for complications from the disease.