Tag Archives: Kent County

British COVID-19 strain confirmed in Kent County | Instant News

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Kent County Department of Health announced Sunday afternoon that the UK variant of COVID-19 B.1.1.7 has been confirmed here.

KCHD’s marketing and communications manager, Steve Kelso, made the announcement shortly after 2:00 p.m. Sunday.

The department issued the following statement:

“The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) notified the Kent County Department of Health (KCHD) that a variant of COVID-19 known as SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 has been confirmed in Kent County residents.

This variant is worrying because it is associated with increased transmission. Compared to the original virus, variant B.1.1.7 is approximately 50 percent more contagious, causing the virus to spread faster and potentially increasing the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

The presence of the rapidly spreading variant in Kent County illustrates the importance of remaining vigilant in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Proper use of masks, social distancing and good hand hygiene practices continue to be the most effective measures to combat the spread of disease. KCHD also encourages residents to limit their interactions with people living outside their own households.

“Basically it’s a race for our population coverage; a competition that pits the vaccination against infection transmission, “said Dr. Adam London, Director of the KCHD. “While we are working to minimize the impact of COVID-19 infection, variant B.1.1.7 increases the speed of the virus.”

The KCHD is encouraging testing of individuals who have traveled out of Michigan in the past 14 days, particularly into areas where the new variant is widely circulated.

The SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 is thought to have appeared in the United Kingdom and has been detected in many countries and states. MDHHS has identified 30 cases of variant B.1.1.7 in Michigan. While the majority of these cases have been found in the southeastern part of the state, the latest confirmation of a case in Kalamazoo and now in Kent district illustrates the fast-moving nature of the variant. “


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Kent Co. helping 900 households overcome food insecurity | Instant News

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Previously Kent County Community Action Opening a food distribution event on Thursday morning at their offices on Wealthy Street, dozens of cars lined up on Jefferson Avenue. Some were already in the parking lot with open suitcases.

“We’re shooting for 900 households,” said Susan Cervantes, director of KCCA. “And, we’ve averaged that for the last four distributions we’ve had.”

As soon as 9 a.m., vehicles drive to the central doors, one by one, where workers and volunteers carry large boxes of food to the door and their luggage or rear seats.

“We have fresh apples and pears. We had frozen hamburger patties, pork loin, and pork chops. We have canned food, like peas and corn, “said Cervantes. “Then there’s some elbow macaroni, some sauce, some juice.”

Cervantes said each box was worth between $ 75- $ 90. This was meant for people to put together as a meal or to supplement any meal they may already have at home.

“It means a lot because it is difficult to get food,” said Winona Gray, who was one of the first riders to receive a box. “It helps people who donate. Otherwise, we probably won’t have enough money to eat for a month. “

Since the pandemic broke out in March 2019, many families have experienced food insecurity and hunger, said Cervantes. The pandemic and subsequent closings and lulls have caused widespread job losses and difficult times for many.

“Very hard. Very loud Mom,” said Ken Stokes when asked how the last few months have been for him. “I mean I just hope everyone enjoys this and then things get back to normal and we can carry on from there.”

Cervantes added that it can be embarrassing for people experiencing food insecurity to seek help. However, she was pleased that Kent County Community Action was busy all morning, handing out food to anyone passing.

“That’s why we are here. We are here to help, “said Cervantes. “What we feel with all of our services, not just food distribution, is that we have resources to help you. So let us help you and then you can use your resources to fill in your blanks. “

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