COVID cases spiking, doctor says ‘we are at a very stressful position’

Kent County Health Department says hundreds of new cases reported each day and hospital beds are filling up
Posted at 7:42 PM, Nov 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-09 19:42:57-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Dr. Claudia Jarrin-Tejada said everyone needs to do everything they can to slow the spread of COVID-19. Cases are surging and hospital beds are filling up.

“As of right now we have a positivity rate of over 19 percent in Muskegon County,” said Mercy Health’s Dr. Jarrin during a Zoom interview on Monday. “So this means that up to 19 percent of tests come back positive. So it is definitely in our communities.”

Mercy Health said the state’s positivity rate is 17 percent.

According to Spectrum Health, they have over 240 patients battling COVID-19 and the heath department said a quarter of those patients are in ICU.

“A month or so ago we were seeing 30 to 50 new cases per day. Now we’re seeing an average of 300-600 new cases per day,” said Adam London, director of the Kent County Health Department. “While that’s happening, our death numbers are starting to increase as well. We’re now seeing about four deaths per day, which is of course the worst outcome of all.”

Health officials are urging everyone to follow safety protocols like practicing social distancing, washing your hands and wearing a mask. They’re also asking people to stay home from work if they’re experiencing COVID symptoms.

“We are at a very stressful position right now. We are doing everything we can to help our community. The hospital right now is at maximum capacity,” Dr. Jarrin. “So we really need the support from our community in helping us slow the spread of this virus so that we can take care of our patients in the hospital.”

The health department is also asking for people to get flu shots this season. They said it's typically their mantra every year but this year it could help hospital staffs greatly.

“The type of resources that the hospitals need to care for flu patients is nearly identical to that for COVID patients,” London said. “So if we can lessen the stress on our hospitals by lessening the number of people who have severe influenza, we’re going to do them a big favor.”