GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Roughly one quarter of those in the hospital with COVID in Kent County are in the ICU, and 95–97 percent of the people on ventilators are not vaccinated.
The Kent County Health Department says now is the time for the community to step up and support the healthcare system before it reaches its maximum capacity. Spectrum Health's Blodgett and Butterworth hospitals are both at more than 90 percent capacity.
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“It’s frustrating to us because we know other people are suffering because of it. We know surgeries are being delayed and rescheduled. We know acute care for any number of health emergencies, medical emergencies, might be delayed. Might not be as great as people would otherwise get. To know that’s because our hospitals are feeling the brunt of all this...it’s very difficult for us to deal with,” Kent County Health Department Dr. Adam London said.
In addition to the pandemic taxing hospital workers: flu numbers are up, and more people are sick than ever before, because of delayed care.
Now is the time to get vaccinated if you aren't. London says those who want to get together for Thanksgiving and are not vaccinated should rethink that choice. Vaccinated people should start taking additional precautions, too, like wearing a mask in public.
“I think sadly out there, there’s a group of people that thinks we’re all part of some scam that’s trying to fool people. The reality is, we all want our community to get through this,” Dr. London said.
READ MORE: Kent County Health Department asks residents to help slow spread of COVID-19