GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — While more people are being tested for COVID-19 in the region, the percentage of people testing positive continues to hover just below 4 percent, according to the Kent County Health Department.
The Grand Rapids region was moved designated a 'high risk' for possibility of transmission on Tuesday by the state, according to the MI Safe Start Map website. This is up from a 'medium-high' designation the day prior.
Speaking to Dr Adam London of the county health department, he says this has more to do with our test positivity rate staying right near 3.7 percent in recent weeks, and less to do with gatherings over the holiday weekend.
"About 3.7 percent of all tests conducted are coming back positive. And we would really like to see that number come down especially as more tests are being conducted," he said.
Dr London says it will be some time before data starts to reflect any uptick in numbers due to people getting together for the Fourth of July.
“We saw that it took several weeks after the Memorial Day weekend, before we saw any increase related to that period of time.”
While the percentage of tests coming back positive remains flat, the number of deaths related to COVID have been decreasing.
Dr London says this is due to hospitals and healthcare workers developing more effective treatment methods in recent months.
Telling FOX 17 Wednesday, "If we see a resurgence in cases, it will be very difficult for us to flatten that curve again.
He says that while there are fewer people now in Kent County who are wearing face masks and practicing social distancing, it is important not to give up on slowing the spread.
“At this moment right now, we still have case numbers that are low enough, that if we buckled down and we follow the prevention messages that we've talked about now for some time, we can keep this relatively low and make sure that we keep our hospitals in good shape to deal with the most severely ill," Dr London said.
“I know they’re inconvenient. No one wants to wear a mask, especially in July. No one wants to avoid parties, especially in July, but these are unfortunately the tools we have if we’re going to make a dent in this and if we’re going to protect lives in the near future.”
You can always check the Kent County Health Department's website for the most up-to-date information about COVID-19.