KENT COUNTY, Mich. — With the county now seeing around 700 new confirmed COVID cases every day, the health department has released a set of heightened safety measures aimed at slowing the spread heading into the holidays.
“I don't want people to think that we can make this go away in the next couple of months, but we can significantly reduce the severity of this curve right now,” Dr Adam London, Administrative Health Officer at the health department, told FOX 17 Friday.
You can read the full list of heightened recommendations HERE.
The guidlines are intended to give families more detailed information about how to seek medical help if you think you are sick, and how best to protect yourself and your loved ones in public.
“But in order for this to work, we need the cooperation from everyone in this community," Dr London said.
In addition to doing the things we've all become so familiar with at this point, like washing our hands and wearing masks in public, Dr London says it is important we limit the size of our holiday gatherings this year.
“The way that a virus spreads in a community, it requires a new host on an ongoing basis. So whenever people are gathering and are not following the guidelines for face masking, it doesn’t just affect the person who is making that decision, it affects all the people around them.”
As Dr London said Friday, it is vital that everyone take precautions, and not just those who are immuno-compromised.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in the people of West Michigan, that, you know, our hearts are in the right place. We know what the right things to do are, we really need to follow through with that this year.”
But if precautions are thrown into the wind, and the virus continues to spread as it has, Dr London says, "the worst repercussions for this is we're going to see more people suffer and die, and that's the truth of the matter."
He recommends that families celebrate the holidays via virtual means, utilizing the technology we have available to check in on loved ones who might be isolating.
"I'm very confident by the time we get certainly to the midpoint, or later next year, and certainly by the holidays next year, we're going to be at a very different point in this in the story," Dr London said Friday.
"And I'm very confident that if we do the right things this year, we can make sure that everyone survives to next year's holidays."
The latest information on COVID-19 in Kent County is always available at the health department's website.