HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — More hospitalizations, deaths and cases of COVID-19 have state health officials concerned as the trends continue to rise.
Michigan reported more than 9,000 new cases over the weekend, an average of 4,505 each day. At that same time, 62 more Michiganders died from the virus.
The rate of testing positive is also nearly four times where health officials would like to see it — at the three percent mark or below, which would ensure officials that community spread of the virus is under control.
On Sunday, Nov. 8, the state reported an 11.73 positivity rate. The seven-day average sits at 10.62 percent. It’s been above 10 percent six of the last seven days for which information is available.
Ottawa County has the second most cases of any county in West Michigan, just behind Kent.
Health officials at the Ottawa County Department of Public Health say they are resting at a 12.5 percent positivity rate — a full percentage point above the statewide seven-day average. That data is through Nov. 4, the most recent numbers they have available.
Ottawa County Health Administrator Marcia Mansaray says anything above 10 percent is scary. She also said Ottawa County is seeing an increase in hospitalizations and deaths of their own.
“When you’re testing more, you shouldn’t be finding more positives because you’re testing more and more people,” Mansaray said. “If COVID is not spreading at an increasing amount, we would expect to see more negatives. We would not expect the positivity to go up. If anything, we would expect it to go down.”
Mansaray also said times for results after testing have increased countywide. From within two days to now three or more. The wait is concerning in and of itself, because people need to let those they’ve been in contact with know if they should be tested in a timely manner for contact tracing purposes to help control the spread.
“When we have testing going up and positivity going up, then we’re concerned. Then we know we’re testing at a high level and finding more and more positive cases.”
Some of the increased numbers in the county are related to Grand Valley State University and Hope College. Both schools are reporting more cases ahead of Thanksgiving break.
Hope College, which reports its numbers weekly, announced 40 new positive cases Monday. They nearly doubled their cases of 27 from the week before. More than half the number of total cases have come from the last two weeks alone.
GVSU is reporting 44 new cases from over the weekend. The university averages more than 20 new cases daily over the last week.