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State, local health officials warn of COVID-19 numbers: "We’re past nervous. This is a sort of grim reality."

Posted at 8:06 PM, Nov 18, 2020

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. — Steady increases in COVID-19 has public health officials begging the public to change their actions, especially leading up toward the Thanksgiving holiday.

While there is no crystal ball to show the future, with numbers rising, in some cases, doubling...the curve is doing anything but slowing down.

A chart from the MDHHS shows current numbers across the state.

Kalamazoo has the highest number of tests coming back positive for COVID-19 in the lower peninsula.

The Grand Rapids area meanwhile has the highest number of cases per million beneath the Mackinaw Bridge.

Brain Hartl is an epidemiologist with the Kent County Health Department.

“Really I think the biggest concern for me, is the number of deaths we are seeing, from the beginning of November, we’ve had 64 people that have died,” Hartl said.

Ottawa County is seeing an incredible case increase as well, says their senior epidemiologist Derel Glashower.

“Here in Ottawa county, we’ve roughly seen an increase of about 45 percent, week to week to week,” Glashower said.

That increase is troubling, as the MDHHS shows how the levels have risen across our state.

In September, only seven counties in Michigan hit 150 cases per million.

By November, every county hit that mark.

Local Health Departments saying, to change course we must change behavior.

“Really where we stand on this mountain is going to be determined by the response to public health orders,” Hartl said.

“I don’t like what I’m seeing at all. The trajectory continues to go up. I think all of us in the public health community, we’re past nervous. This is the sort of grim reality that we're facing right now," Glashower said.

View the full MDHHS presentation here.