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West Michigan is experiencing a rise in COVID-19 positivity rates, case counts and hospitalizations

Novel coronavirus graphic
Novel coronavirus

The Kent County Health Department has recorded the highest positivity rate since the pandemic began.

Systemwide, Spectrum Health is reporting the number of positive COVID-19 in-patients is 367. It was mid-double digits during the summer months. Recently, week-over-week, there’s been a dramatic increase.

The Kent County Health Department has recorded the highest positivity rate since the pandemic began. Over the last seven days reaching nearly 27%.

Spectrum Health is encouraging everyone who can to get vaccinated as the best way to avoid serious illness. Dr. Darryl Elmouchi is President of Spectrum Health West Michigan. He tells us data supports it. Last week there were 272 hospitalized inpatients.

“Eighty-five percent of those folks, of the inpatients, were unvaccinated. Of our I.C.U. patients 94% were unvaccinated and of those patients on a ventilator, 95% unvaccinated and those ratios have been holding true for weeks and weeks now.”

They are young and considered healthy, but for Dr. Elmouchi the situation is telling. The young and unvaccinated are at greatest risk of hospitalization or even dying from COVID-19.

“And if you’re vaccinated, there’s no vaccine that’s perfect, you are very well protected and it’s only a small number of older and sicker people that end up in our hospitals.”

To that end, 18 COVID-19 positive children are currently admitted to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. It’s the highest number since the pandemic began.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.