Kalamazoo County reports 2 more coronavirus deaths

Posted at 5:56 PM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-08 21:56:07-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Kalamazoo County is reporting two more deaths due to the coronavirus.

Both of the individuals were older adults with underlying medical conditions, according to the Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department today.

The county has seen five coronavirus deaths, and it has 64 coronavirus cases, according to its website.

The health department said that for "confidentiality purposes," it will not release additional information on cases or publish case counts by zip code at this time.

Privacy, it said, can be "compromised" by releasing low counts by zip code.

However, the department will consider "publishing any relevant data to keep the public informed and healthy," as case counts increase and "patient privacy can be assured."

“We do not want to give the wrong impression about community spread," said Jim Rutherford, health officer, Kalamazoo County. "A zip code could have no positive cases, thus making people feel a false sense of security that it is not in their area.

“We know COVID-19 is in our community. We know people not showing any symptoms can have the virus and inadvertently spread it. Releasing zip code information about positive cases of COVID-19 is not accounting for all those asymptomatic people.”

The department said the "best action" people can take is to adhere to the Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home order and "avoid all gatherings of any size."

It also reminded residents that if they must go out for essential needs, they should wear a cloth mask, maintain six feet distance from others and wash their hands.