Kent County graduation party linked to coronavirus cluster

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Public health officials traced a cluster of COVID-19 cases to a graduation party earlier this month in the Forest Hills area.

The cases so far have totaled 21 people, with adolescents responsible for most infections, according to Kent County Health Department spokesman Steve Kelso.

Kelso said he does not believe that none of those infected have been hospitalized.

Kent County Health Department contact tracers followed the cluster of infections to a graduation party at the Watermark Country Club, as well as a one-person after-party on the weekend of July 17.

Watermark Country Club, located at 5500 Cascade Road. SE, did not immediately return calls for comment.

Health ministry officials were initially surprised by the cluster of new cases in the region, as it was not a hot spot for COVID-19. After the contact tracers began their work, they quickly discovered that the infected people were in the same places.

Kelso called the situation a “classic” example of how COVID-19 can quickly spread among crowds and gatherings.

“Coming together is important, it’s what makes us human. You have to be able to see family and friends, but we really need you to keep that in mind, ”Kelso said.

“If you have a few people in your house, you still have to maintain that social distancing, you still have to wear a mask.”

When it comes to food at gatherings, Kelso said it’s best for each party to bring and eat their own dish.

Related: Kent County coronavirus data improving after heat wave likely caused surge, health leader says

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has banned gatherings of more than 10 people indoors and gatherings of more than 100 people outdoors.

Whitmer has ordered people to wear masks in public indoor spaces and crowded outdoor spaces in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Kent County Health Department officials reported on Wednesday, July 29, that this county had a total of 6,328 cases of COVID-19 and 150 deaths associated with the virus.

COVID-19 PREVENTION TIPS

In addition to washing your hands regularly and not touching your face, officials recommend practicing social distancing, assuming anyone can carry the virus.

Health officials say you should stay at least 6 feet from others and work from home, if possible.

Use disinfectant wipes or disinfectant spray cleaners on frequently touched surfaces in your home (doorknobs, faucets, counters) and take hand sanitizer with you when you go to places like stores.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer also issued executive orders requiring people to wear facial covers over the mouth and nose while in crowded indoor and outdoor public spaces. See a explanation of what it means here.

Additional information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

For more data on COVID-19 in Michigan, visit https://www.mlive.com/coronavirus/data/.

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About Walter Bartholomew

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