Patrick Center

Patrick  joined WGVU 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 Director, Patrick manages our daily news operation. An award winning reporter, Patrick is an EMMY Award nominee and was named Best Individual Reporter by the Michigan Associated Press and presented with the Best Individual Reporter Merit Award by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. . He remains loyal to his boyhood professional sports teams: Cleveland Indians, Browns and Cavaliers. Although he grew up in the "buckeye" state, he has fallen in love with the people and natural resources of West Michigan.

Grand Action 2.0, Co-chairs Tom Welch, Carol Van Andel and Dick DeVos photo
Grand Action 2.0

It’s been four years since Grand Action – now Grand Action 2.0 - commissioned a study examining what venues and attractions are needed for maintaining and expanding area as a visitor destination. Monday, an update at the Economic Club of Grand Rapids’ luncheon. 

Grand Action is the business-based nonprofit behind the construction of Van Andel Arena, DeVos Place and the Downtown Market.

picture of Kent County Health Department sign

The Kent County Health Department has issued a Public Health Warning.

The 7-day average for new COVID-19 cases is 682 cases per day. That’s 100 more cases per day on average than last week. With test positivity rates climbing to 16.2% the Kent County Health Department says its reaching “dangerous levels” 

“And most concerning of all, our death rate is continuing to increase. We’re now at 263 deaths here in Kent County and we’re seeing an average of 6.2 new deaths each day here in Kent County. And that’s, of course, the most concerning of all of these measures.”

Spectrum Health
Spectrum Health

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services projects a doubling of new COVID-19 hospitalization in the next two-weeks. Spectrum Health addressed the projection during its weekly COVID media briefing.

Spectrum Health’s labs have routinely conducted roughly 4,000 COVID-19 tests per day. The test positivity rate on a rolling seven-day average of 18.6%. That means COVID is rapidly spreading throughout the community.

Metro Health University of Michigan Health logo
Metro Health University of Michigan Health

When the pandemic began earlier this year, Grand Rapids’ Metro Health – University of Michigan Health prepared for the predicted fall, second wave of COVID cases.

“We’ve been able to surge up our ICU capacity because a lot more of these people end up in the ICUs. We’ve tripled the size of our ICU and got a lot of nurses cross-trained.”

Steve Polega is Chief Nursing Officer at Metro Health – University of Michigan Health.

Republican and Democrat logos

A state Board of Canvassers' meeting has been cancelled after canvassers in southeastern Michigan's Wayne County unanimously certified election results showing Democrat Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump. Secretary of State spokeswoman Tracy Wimmer said in an email that Wednesday's meeting was unnecessary because "all counties have certified" the results. The board is next scheduled to meet Nov. 23 to certify the Nov. 3 general election.

Mercy Health logo
Mercy Health

More than half of Mercy Health Muskegon’s hospital beds are occupied by COVID patients. That number is expected to continue to climb. Meeting the need, the hospital is creating more space and putting out the call for additional frontline help.

As this story unfolds, of the 240 hospital beds at Mercy Health Muskegon, 130 are filled with COVID-19 patients.

“We’re calling it an ‘internal disaster’ which means all-hands on deck.”

picture of Kent County Health Department sign

The Kent County Health Department warns that it’s contact tracing and case investigation capacities are limited due to the extreme rise in the number of new COVID-19 cases. The health department says it’s prioritizing COVID case investigations.

With the high volume of new cases, it’s increasing the notification turnaround time and it’s asking residents for cooperation

“So, any person who’s notified of a positive test for COVID-19 should immediately isolate for a period of time, not less than 10 days, from the onset of symptoms or from the test date.”

Hospital sign

As area hospitals near capacity with an influx of COVID-19 patients, what happens when capacity is reached? 

Spectrum Health is using computer models factoring in bed and staff capacity along with length of stay. Those models say the hospital will reach traditional capacity constraints soon.

"And so, we’re taking proactive action to expand into other areas to make sure that we have that we have that room.”

Tina Freese Decker is President and CEO of Spectrum Health.

Spectrum Health
Spectrum Health

Spectrum Health says it will only test for COVID-19 in patients showing symptoms.

Spectrum Health conducts roughly 4,000 COVID-19 tests daily. But with increasing demand as the virus spreads exponentially, the hospital is prioritizing symptomatic patients and not people who’ve been exposed to it.

“The rationale for this is, number one, we want to make sure those symptomatic patients get tested. And number two, we want to make sure that our testing turnaround times remain short so those tests are actually actionable.”

Spectrum Health
Spectrum Health

The spike in COVID-19 cases is reaching a tipping point for area hospitals. Spectrum Health officials Wednesday announced it’s a matter of days when hospital systems across the state reach capacity.

They’re warning the trajectory of community spread must change or the situation will turn dire.

“We are facing some of the most daunting and demanding challenges since this pandemic began.”