Kent County Health Department asks residents to help slow spread of COVID-19

Posted at 10:41 AM, Nov 23, 2021

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Kent County health officials are urging residents to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 as the area’s statistics are higher than at any previous point in the pandemic.

Test positivity stands at 22.8% in Kent County, the seven-day average for new cases is 645 and local hospitals and ICUs are operating at “extremely high” capacity, according to a news release Tuesday.

“This is a crisis for all of us who live and work in Kent County,” said Dr. Adam London, director of the Kent County Health Department. “The capacity for hospitals to provide care, which is exasperated by staffing shortages, is at a tipping point. We should all expect increased wait times for emergency, urgent and primary care as well as delays in ambulance transfers and some surgical procedures until we control the spread of COVID-19 in the community.”

The Kent County Health Department asked residents to take the following steps to help slow the rate of transmission, preserve access to an already strained health care system and protect the most vulnerable in the community:

  • Get vaccinated against COVID-19 and influenza. 
  • Wear a mask in public settings, especially if you’re not fully vaccinated, may be infected and do not have symptoms or have health conditions that make you more vulnerable to becoming sick if you become infected with COVID-19. 
  • Get tested if you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, are experiencing any symptom of the virus and before attending indoor gatherings with people above the age of 65 or with underlying health conditions. 
  • Take preventative measures like avoiding large indoor gathering spaces as much as possible, use good hand hygiene, practice physical distancing and cover coughs and sneezes. Eating well, getting enough sleep and staying active can also help people stay healthy. 

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“I am thankful to everyone who has been following our recommendations since the onset of the pandemic,” London said. “The current problems would be far worse if not for your actions. We are now asking for your consideration once again as we look to slow the spread of the virus, regain access to our hospitals and continue to work to get this pandemic behind us.”

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