Kent County Health Department director gives COVID-19 update, urges mask usage for younger students

Coronavirus-confirmed healthcare workers can return to work without being testing negative
Posted at 7:45 PM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 19:45:20-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Kent County is seeing an average of about 36 new COVID-19 cases per day over the last week, Adam London, director of the Kent County Health Department, said in a video update on Facebook on Wednesday.

That’s compared to about 50 new cases per day last week.

The county’s positivity rate also continues to tick downward, with about 2.2% of coronavirus tests coming back positive.

The death rate has also continued to slow down in Kent, with a case mortality of about 2.2%. 153 have died of the virus so far.

However, London says he’s concerned about the numbers in the Detroit area, which is seeing test positivity rates as high as 7%.

He’s also concerned about cooling weather.

“We don’t know how this epidemic is going to look season over season,” London said. “As the weather cools down, people tend to spend more time indoors. Also, less humid conditions tend to be a little more favorable to respiratory viruses.”

The reopening of schools also poses a hurdle for the health department.

London says the department supports the state’s requirement for all students in grade 6 and up who are medically able to do so to wear a mask. But he also supports mask usage for all students in kindergarten and up.

“I recommend that if you have a child who cannot wear a mask because of a medical reason to think very carefully about choosing the virtual option,” London said. “This is a choice that you as a family have to make, but we have seen how destructive this virus can be to people who have underlying health conditions and people that we know are more vulnerable.”

Watch the full update: