A 71-year-old man is the first West Michigan patient with COVID-19 to die. Spectrum Health said the patient who had tested positive for the virus died on Saturday at one of their hospitals.
This is the seventh person to die from coronavirus in Michigan. The other six deaths in the state are in Wayne and Oakland counties.
“Our hearts go out to the family of this patient and everyone who is impacted by this illness in our community,” said Kent County Health Department Director Dr. Adam London. “This death underscores how important it is for all of us to do what we can to help mitigate the spread of this virus, so it doesn’t impact any more residents.”
Joshua Kooistra, DO, chief medical officer at Spectrum Health said they are extending their deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the patient.
“We were saddened by his death and realize it is difficult news for our community as we face the reality of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Kooistra. “All of our team members, from clinicians to support staff, are committed to caring for our COVID-19 patients. We are united with our communities in fighting this virus together.”
London also urged the public to follow the CDC’s guidelines to limit gatherings to 10 people or less, which is stricter than Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s order banning groups of 50 or more.
“One of the best ways we can protect ourselves from this virus is to avoid public gatherings. Keeping distance ensures people interact less with each other giving the virus fewer opportunities to spread,” said a news release from the Kent County Health Department.
Spectrum Health started testing for COVID-19 at its Grand Rapids lab this week. Their lab has completed 600 tests so far.
The West Michigan based health system has 14 hospitals throughout the area. During the coronavirus pandemic, Spectrum Health has been offering free virtual screenings for COVID-19 and they have triage tents outside their Grand Rapids hospital for patients who have symptoms related to the virus.
As of Saturday, state health officials reported 787 cases of COVID-19 in Michigan.
STATE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR COVID-19
Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
- Shortness of breath
The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to:
- If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.
- Public health expert warns virus not going away – KSAT San Antonio
- Tesla asks employees to resume production at Fremont car plant despite coronavirus health orders – CNBC
- Major health groups and charities urge Trump to reverse World Health Organization funding decision – CNN
- Public health officials push back on May opening | TheHill – The Hill
- Analysis | The Health 202: Los Angeles is racing to discover the true coronavirus infection rate – The Washington Post
- Some Public Health Officials Not Releasing Coronavirus Hospitalizations : Shots – Health News – NPR
- Covid-19 health-care crisis could drive new developments in robotics, editorial says – The Washington Post
- Lost Your Health Insurance During the COVID-19 Crisis? Here Are Your Options – The Motley Fool
- El Paso virus cases jump to 35 as health leaders warn of increased risk of ‘community spread’ – KVIA El Paso