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Orders have been issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services that allow for expanded visitations at nursing and other residential facilities. Visits to the facilities have been restricted to slow the spread of COVID-19. The two orders signed Tuesday by MDHHS Director Robert Gordon allow exceptions to the restrictions as long as the facilities meet specific safety requirements, such as requiring masks during visits. Gordon noted the hardship residents of the facilities have faced because they have been unable to see loved ones because of the pandemic.

picture of Kent County Health Department sign

A Grand Rapids area bar has been ordered closed by Kent County officials after it failed to adhere to social distance protocols.

After a cellphone video circulated on social media revealing Grand Rapids’ Social House Tavern crowd in violation of social distance protocols, the Kent County Health Department ordered it closed until further notice.

“We take these things all very seriously. And, in particular, when it comes to bars and restaurants.”

Dr. Adam London is Director of the Kent County Health Department.

West Nile Virus is back in Kent County

Jul 1, 2020
Mosquito photo

The Kent County Health Department is urging West Michiganders to be cautious, as officials have confirmed some mosquitos are carrying the West Nile Virus.

Ongoing surveillance and testing conducted by the Kent County Health Department (KCHD) has revealed three presumptive positive cases of mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus in Kent County.

The discovery comes after testing pools of mosquito remains that were trapped in the 49504 and 49525 ZIP Codes. It is important to note that these are not human cases, but residents should still be on watch.


Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is lifting her ban on evictions she put in place during the coronavirus pandemic in mid-July…but is promising Landlords, if they let people stay in their homes, government assistance will pay the majority of any rent that is owed. 

Novel coronavirus

The daily U.S. count of new coronavirus cases stood near an all-time high Thursday. It's hovering close to the late-April peak when 36,400 were reported. The Kent County Health Department is watching with concern after a jump in cases reported Thursday.

In early May, Kent County experienced its COVID-19 outbreak peak with161 cases reported on average each day. Between may 2nd and June 10th cases declined to an average of 26 new cases.

Classroom photo
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With over a billion-dollar shortfall in the Michigan School Aid Fund as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Grand Rapids Public Schools officials say the district is facing school closures and massive layoffs without federal assistance. But with a June 30th deadline approaching, time is running out. According to Grand Rapids Public Schools officials, it would mean reducing the budget by $650 per student, the most in recent memory.


A federal appeals court late Wednesday halted a lower judge’s ruling and kept closed gyms and fitness centers that Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered shut months ago to curb the coronavirus. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 3-0 decision, granted an emergency stay sought by the governor. After a lawsuit was filed by indoor fitness facilities,

State lawmakers heard today from the director of the state unemployment agency. He was there to answer questions about a backlog in resolving unemployment claims.

The wave of COVID-related layoffs led to the increase in claims. The increase in claims led to an increase in suspected fraud. Unemployment agency director Steve Gray told a joint House and Senate committee that created opportunities for people who’ve been collecting stolen identity information.

Nursing home COVID-19 testing photo
Spc. Miguel Pena /

Michigan would create dedicated facilities for coronavirus-infected patients who aren't sick enough to be hospitalized or placed in a nursing home under a bill approved by the state Senate. The Republican-sponsored legislation, which passed Wednesday, is a response to Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's policy that allows people with COVID-19 to be put in nursing homes if they are isolated from residents without the virus.

Kent ISD
Kent ISD

The results are in, and with the majority of parents surveyed, the Kent Intermediate School District has drafted its School Re-entry Plan for navigating the coronavirus pandemic this fall.

More than 30,000 parents responded to the Kent Intermediate Superintendents’ Association School Re-entry Survey.

“Almost 90% of the parents who responded to the survey believe that in-person instruction is the very best option in terms of a quality educational experience for their child.”