GRAND RAPIDS — Kent County Health Department officials are “actively and aggressively” seeking out COVID-19 cases in the community by testing in clusters of vulnerable residents, contributing to the recent rise in positive cases here.
Dr. Adam London, administrative health officer for the Kent County Health Department, said Wednesday a “critical part of the story” happened over the past week as he ordered staff to “go out and aggressively hunt for the virus.”
“We identify those small clusters so we can isolate them and make sure they don’t make large outbreaks,” London said during a daily online briefing Wednesday.
Reports last week showed dozens among the city’s homeless population who tested positive, nearly all of whom voluntarily attended an isolation center at Guiding Light.
Kent County has 1,402 positive COVID-19 cases while deaths have stayed at 33 for two days. On Tuesday, Kent County saw its largest spike to date with 205 new cases from Monday. London attributed the higher number to data coming in batches from over the weekend, as well as increased testing. The following day, cases increased by 90.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Michigan has 40,399 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 3,670 deaths.
Elsewhere in West Michigan, Muskegon County has recorded 262 confirmed cases and 16 deaths; Ottawa County reports 224 cases and nine deaths; and Allegan, Barry and Ionia counties have a combined 188 cases and five deaths.
In Southwest Michigan, Kalamazoo County has 348 confirmed cases and 12 deaths, Berrien County reported 242 cases and 15 deaths and Calhoun County recorded 219 cases and 11 deaths.
London noted Kent County’s 2.3 percent death rate is below the state’s 9.1 percent rate. The relatively low rate “tells me we’re working within the capacity of the health care system to provide care and are detecting cases quicker.”