MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — As the Muskegon County community mourns its first two COVID-19 deaths, healthcare leaders prepare for what’s still ahead.
“This is real,” Muskegon County Public Health Director Kathy Moore said. “We have deaths here in Muskegon County. We have six positive confirmed cases and two of them are deaths.”
Moore said these deaths could be a preview of what’s to come if the community doesn’t step up and stay home.
“We are finding that some of our positive cases are still gathering with family members that live outside of their residence (and) still going places unnecessarily,” Moore said. “Our biggest challenge is to get Muskegon residents to please, just stay home.”
Mercy Health Muskegon President Gary Allore said they’re treating more potential cases with every passing day.
“We expect to see a surge like we’ve seen in New York and Detroit and across the country,” Allore told News 8 Friday. “It will come this way. We hope that if we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing in the community and staying home, then that can be limited, but we’ve prepared.”
On Friday, Mercy Health secured extra space and supplies in preparation for a potential overflow of patients, but Moore said there are still worries that have yet to be addressed.
“The worry is prioritizing who do we see first,” Moore said about the potential patient load to come. “It’s not a matter of can we get everybody in the beds. It’s a matter if everyone comes in, how do we prioritize the sickest most vulnerable populations and make sure we’re taking care of them right away.”
Moore is also concerned about getting enough test kits to have the ability to test high-risk patients as well as first responders and health care workers.