Spectrum Health enters 'Red Zone' for first time since start of pandemic

Spectrum Health
Posted at 8:50 AM, Nov 19, 2021

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Spectrum Health has moved into the “Red Zone” for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The health system currently has nearly 400 COVID-19 patients in its hospital, said Darryl Elmouchi, president of Spectrum Health.

Elmouchi made the announcement about Spectrum's situation in a video Friday morning.

He added that staffing has been short in “numerous areas” for months and continues to be so, and supplies continue to be constrained.

The percentage of COVID-19 tests coming back positive in the community continues to grow and is now in the mid-20s.

“Red Status” means Spectrum Health will be better able to emphasize an all-hands-on-deck approach, minimize non-urgent work and set forth additional guidance, such as not having in-person work holiday parties.

“Quite honestly, the biggest discussion we had about going to Red is what happens next,” Elmouchi said. “We know the next one to two weeks will be hard. We don’t know what happens next. If we’re lucky, we’ll peak and plateau and come down rapidly, but given the positivity and what we’re seeing, we don’t even have a color for what comes next, so we’re going to focus really hard on the now.”

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