Virus Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS — Despite Michigan recording its highest daily death toll Monday since the COVID-19 pandemic began, there may be some good news buried in the numbers.

In his daily briefing, Dr. Adam London, director for the Kent County Health Department, suggested efforts to flatten the curve may be paying off in Kent County.

"Here in Kent County as of this morning, we have 177 cases of COVID-19 that have been diagnosed by our local hospitals and health department, and five — which unfortunately is an increase of two deaths over yesterday," he said during the briefing. "We're getting a lot of questions about flattening the curve and these are the things that we have done having an effect on the curve of this illness."

London suggested they are doing just that. While breaking down the numbers, he said due to the six-day incubation period of the illness and delays in testing, we are just now getting to the point where we can see if we are slowing the spread.

"Going back to March 31, we've got about a week now of incubation and laboratory testing period that we can look at," he said. "And so, what I have here is a graph of our new cases day over day here in Kent County," he said. "If you average those out, what we have is 12 or 11 cases pretty much day over day over the past week. This is really encouraging. This is showing that what we're doing is having some effect."

London also looked at the rate it takes cases do double and points out that Kent County is doing better than many other places in Michigan and the rest of country.

"This is a measure of how many days, it is taking for the number of cases to double in geographic areas. Right now, in the US, it's 5.7 days. So every 5.7 days the total number of cases in the United States is doubling. Here in Michigan, overall it's 4.6 days. But in Kent County it's 7.9 days," he said.

"This is really good. It's taking almost eight days for our total number of cases to double here in Kent County. What this shows is that in a month, in the United States, the number of cases is going to double about five times."

London said in the state of Michigan, the total number of cases is doubling about 6 1/2 times every month. But in Kent County, in a month, the total number of cases is only going to double, a little less than four times a month.

"This is good news," London continued. "Again, this is showing us that our rate of increase has flattened, and it's flattened, to the point that I can conclude that what we're doing right now is having an effect."

London said it's extremely important that people continue to stay the course and not start relaxing our efforts.

"We are still early on in this epidemic," London said. "We've got the tiger by the tail right now. It's not time to let go."

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