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The Economic Club of Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids Chamber host virtual town hall

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The Economic Club of Grand Rapids and the Chamber hosted a virtual town hall meeting this week. One of the topics is preparing for the reopening the local economy.

The West Michigan community has taken extraordinary measures “flattening the curve.” While testing for COVID-19 has increased, the number of cases has plateaued and the positivity rate continues to fall. Dr. Adam London is director of the Kent County Health Department. He says the pathway to reopening the local economy will come with risk.

“Along one side of this pathway we have a silent, invisible, infectious agent that we know not as much about as we would like to. On the other side of the pathway we have economic disaster and all the harms that it brings.”

Dr. London is asking that everyone walk the pathway in a smart way respecting both threats. He recommends we all continue working together minimizing the risk through hand washing, disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, improved health, sleep and diet, working from home if you can, if you’re sick stay home, vulnerable populations should take extra precautions, if you can wear a mask in public please do so, avoid large gatherings especially indoors, continue social distancing and implementing employee health screenings.

A packet of resources providing guidance for businesses reopening can be found at kentcountybacktowork.com. An employee health screening tool is included.

“The data from these screenings will be de-identified and will be sent to MSU each day. MSU will aggregate the data and send it to the health department. We will then use it to look for hot spots. When an individual site of work is seeing a cluster of illness we can also assist that place of employment with guidance and linkage to testing.”

Dr. London explains we’ve weathered the storm of the first wave of infections and must remain vigilant.

I’m Patrick Center