Kent County Health Department issues public health warning

Kent County Health Department
Posted at 11:47 AM, Nov 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-20 11:47:40-05

KENT CO., Mich. — Dr. Adam London, administrative health officer at the Kent County Health Department (KCHD), has issued a public health warning.

Among other things, the warning advises against indoor residential gatherings of people from multiple households, including over the holidays.

This warning includes guidelines are designed to hault the skyrocketing COVID-19 infection rates while preventing another economic shutdown.

With more than 650 new cases per day and positivity rates holding well above 15%, KCHD and area hospitals said that conditions threaten their ability to provide services essential for the health of the community.

“Our local infection rates have reached dangerous levels,” said London. “We need to take decisive, community-wide action to protect the health of our residents and to alleviate the pressure on our hospitals, frontline healthcare workers and public health case investigators and contact tracers.”

The guidelines also:

  • Urges businesses to strictly adhere to workplace protocols and encourages the public to support local businesses using pickup and delivery whenever possible, minimizing time spent inside public spaces.
  • Reminds K-8 schools to diligently follow face covering, distancing and health screening guidelines. Expanding on the current Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) orders, high schools are advised to continue remote learning through January 15, 2021.
  • Urges parents to prevent children from gathering with friends outside of school hours and during periods of remote learning.
  • Encourages houses of worship to temporarily discontinue large in-person gatherings.
  • Advises against sports and recreational activities not covered by the current MDHHS order and that require close contact.

“We commend area leaders and organizations who have joined in support of the recommendations,” Dr. London said. “In addition to protecting public health, they know that tighter measures now may help stave off another round of public health ‘stay home’ orders that shutter businesses and schools in the coming months.”