COVID-19

Health officials urge caution as COVID cases surge in Kalamazoo County

County health officials say rise of infections is being caused by "pandemic fatigue" and social gatherings.

Kalamazoo County’s rate of new COVID-19 infections is higher than at any point during the pandemic. As of Wednesday, the county’s seven day moving average was 74 new cases of COVID-19 per day.

County health officials took to Facebook on Wednesday to urge residents to take the pandemic seriously and stay home except when necessary for work or activities like grocery shopping.

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“It is not inevitable that we all get COVID-19. We have effective ways to reduce risk,” said Dr. William Nettleton, the county’s medical director.

Nettleton said the rise in new cases is not being fueled by business reopenings, but by unnecessary social gatherings.

“We are identifying outbreaks related to parties, weddings, anniversaries, things like that,” he said.

“Our case rate is … approximately double our peak near April or May. This is concerning as we enter the fall and winter when there’s other respiratory viruses circulating as well and we spend more time indoors.”

Nettleton encouraged people to be tested for COVID-19 as soon as they show symptoms – even if they believe them to be caused by something else, such as allergies.

“The likelihood of it being COVID-19 is higher at this point in time than it has ever been before in our experience of the pandemic in Kalamazoo County,” he said.

You can view the entire address on Facebook.