UPATE: Kent Co. Health Dept. confirms 21 COVID-19 case linked to graduation open-house

Posted at 6:06 PM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-30 12:18:41-04

GRAND RAPIDSM MICH — UPDATE: The Kent County Health Dept. has confirmed 21 positive COVID-19 tests made of of teenagers and adults.

The cluster is believed to be associated with a graduation party at the Watermark Country Club on July 19th.

The Kent County Health Department is reminding people about the potential dangers of large social gatherings.

They say with graduations, weddings, and summer parties there’s more potential for spreading COVID-19.

Epidemiologist, Brian Hartl with the Health Department said that contact tracing for some positive COVID-19 cases has led them to investigate an event at the Watermark Country Club on July 19th.

Hartl said that they don’t have any confirmed numbers and that they’re still talking to people who were there.

The country club confirms that they did host a graduation open-house that day, adding that everything was outdoors, people wore masks, and they took every precaution necessary.

FOX 17 was told that none of their employees who worked specifically at that event have tested positive.

They did however, confirm that four of their pool employees have tested positive for the virus, but none of them have worked since those results and they continue to sanitize and take precautions to keep staff and members safe.

They told FOX 17 that they believe the four employees were all together at an off-site gathering.

Hartle said that it’s natural to want to get together with people right now and they don’t discourage socializing, but they want to encourage everyone to evaluate the situation beforehand and decide if it’s a safe environment.

“People can be feeling just fine when they’re at a party or an event like this and then a few days later they develop symptoms or a few days later they get a positive test. So, think about who you’re around., and I think it’s easier to think about that before you go and to maintain those precautions -- social distance and wear a mask, as opposed to after the fact when you find out that someone at the party has tested positive and thinking back, ‘Who was I around and who could I have had close contact with?," said Hartl.

If you’re going to a social gathering, Hartl said that all the same rules apply: keep 6 feet apart, host the party outdoors if possible, wear a mask if you can’t socially distance, and be wary of how food is being served or bring your own.

As Gov. Whitmer’s Executive Order stands right now, indoor gatherings should be limited to ten people or less.