‘Very sad to see numbers continue to rise’: Muskegon Co. averaging 3 deaths per day due to COVID

Health officials say COVID cases continue to spike in Muskegon County; Doctor recommends families celebrate Thanksgiving with people who live with them.
Posted at 6:19 PM, Nov 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 18:19:59-05

MUSKEGON, Mich. — COVID-19 cases continue to spike in Muskegon County and health officials said the uptick is so dire that they’re seeing three deaths per day in the county.

“It is very sad to see how our numbers continue to rise,” said Dr. Claudia Jarrin during a Zoom interview on Tuesday. “Our positivity rate is a little bit over 20 percent for Muskegon County. So that makes me very concerned and very anxious in regards to the holidays that are coming.”

The positivity rate at Mercy Health hospitals, including Hackley Hospital which they recently re-opened to help with the overflow, is close to 25 percent said Dr. Jarrin, who’s the infection prevention director at Mercy in Muskegon. She said in their hospitals, 150 people are battling the virus.

“We have about 270 patients total who are hospitalized. So, that’s definitely a lot of patients,” Dr. Jarrin said. “My main concern is that we are one hospital supporting not only Muskegon County but several other counties around.”

Dr. Jarrin said she’s also concerned about the doctors, nurses, lab technicians, custodial crew, and others at the hospital who are already working overtime. She’s worried about their emotional well-being, considering some of them are tending to some of the sickest patients.

“You have to also think about the healthcare workers who are dealing with this on a day-to-day basis,” Dr. Jarrin said. “You know, how much that’s impacting their lives, their mental health as well because imagine dealing with those deaths everyday. So it’s definitely a huge impact.”

So, with Thanksgiving only a few days away, Dr. Jarrin is imploring everyone to abide by CDC guidelines and to wear a mask, wash your hands and practice social distancing. She said if everyone makes a sacrifice, then the spread of the virus will slow down.

“This is hard but for this year we need to celebrate with people who live with us,” Dr. Jarrin said. “So I would not recommend mixing with other households. If you are, limit it up to two households together, up to 10 people in the same place.”