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Community updates: Thursday, Oct. 22

Kent County Health Department reports continued rise in county’s COVID-19 case growth; Grand Rapids gets new park on city’s northwest side.
Dr. Adam London, Kent County Health Department's Director, provides a Thursday update on COVID-19 in the county.

Dr. Adam London, Kent County Health Department's Director, provides a Thursday update on COVID-19 in the county. /Kent County Health Department

Kent County Health Department reports continued rise in county’s COVID-19 case growth

Kent County's resurgence in COVID-19 case growth is continuing its nearly month and a half trend, the Kent County Health Department (KCHD) reported on Thursday.

In the KCHD’s weekly video update, KCHD Director Dr. Adam London said the county's now seeing around 165 new cases per day. The number has steadily increased each week since the beginning of Sept., when the county was averaging around 40 new cases per day.

The county’s test positivity rate – the percentage of tests coming back positive – has also climbed each week. The KCHD now reports a 5.2 percent daily average, compared to around 2 percent in early Sept.

Kent County hospitals have seen the tangible effects of the area’s rising numbers, according to London.

At last check, our local hospitals have approximately 100 people admitted for COVID-19 care and nearly 30 people in intensive care,” said London.These numbers are about three times greater than where things stood one month ago.”

Coinciding with the county’s rising rate of positive COVID-19 cases, Kent County schools have continued to report positive cases related to their students and staff. According to the State of Michigan’s tracking, this number stands at 155 as of Monday.

In response the continued rise in area cases, Grand Rapids Public Schools on Monday extended online-only learning for all of its students until next semester’s Jan. 4 start.

In many ways, I believe the schools have performed much better than the community overall,” London said.In fact, we believe that only a small percentage of cases amongst K-12 students are due to classroom exposures. Most cases are happening at gatherings outside of school.”

Comprehensive COVID-19 data for Kent County is available on the KCHD’s website, through its Data Dashboard, updated daily.


Grand Rapids gets new park on city’s northwest side

A new outdoor park on the city’s northwest side is ready for play, the City of Grand Rapids announced Wednesday.

Called Lexington Park, it’s located at 48 Gold Ave. NW, which was formerly a vacant lot next to the now-closed Lexington Elementary School. It features a picnic shelter and grill, swing set, seating, and hammock grove.

The park was donated to the City of Grand Rapids by Lexington Elementary School in 2013, with the cost for its landscaping and equipment totaling $160,000. The funds derive from a 2013 voter-approved park millage.

The John Ball neighborhood is excited to explore this unique new park,” said Monica Hall, Executive Director at John Ball Area Neighbors – a neighborhood association encompassing Lexington Park.

Parks are an important investment in our community to ensure children, families, and neighbors have safe places to play and stay active outdoors,” she added.

More details about Lexington Park are available on the city's official website.


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