Keeping You Up to Date On Vaccine-Related Issues
Kent County - COVID-19 and Vaccine by the Numbers

  • Positivity Rate: 22.8%
  • 7-day case average: 645 er day up from 310 on Nov. 8, an 84% increase from November 12
  • Hospital Census: 319, 78 of in the ICU
  • More than 61% of our population is fully vaccinated and another 4.8% are partially vaccinated.

For the latest information on COVID-19 numbers and vaccination rates, view our data dashboard.
Share Gratitude, Not COVID, This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated with friends and family over a good meal. While our celebrations may continue to be different, here are a few tips for a happy and healthy holiday:

  1. Get a COVID-19 vaccination or booster if you are eligible.
  2. Talk to friends and family members in advance about vaccination status and other required precautions (vaccination, testing, mask-wearing, etc.).
  3. If you or a member of your household is sick or has symptoms, do not host or attend a gathering.
  4. Consider a small family gathering with only members of your immediate household or with those who are fully vaccinated.
  5. Consider mask-wearing, especially at crowded, indoor gatherings.
  6. If possible, increase ventilation at gatherings, such as opening a window to allow for airflow.
  7. Watch your distance and try to remain at least 6 feet apart.
  8. Wash your hands.
  9. Get tested before and after holiday travel.
  10. Monitor your symptoms after any gathering.

As you prepare to gather around the table, keep the health of your friends and family a top priority by implementing prevention measures. These steps will protect the health of our community and the capacity of our healthcare system. We wish everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!
Facts About the Vax - Vaccine and Kids Hearts

Parents understandably have questions about the vaccine for their children. In fact, one question we routinely receive resolves the risk of myocarditis (heart inflammation) after a COVID infection or vaccine. In the video below, our local physician partners answer this question.
In summary, this heart inflammation after a COVID vaccine is very rare. Most cases have also been mild and short-lived, with patients recovering after a few days. As always, we encourage parents to talk with their primary care provider with specific questions. Find more resources here and frequently asked questions here.
MDHHS Issues Face Mask Advisory for Holiday Season

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a Public Health Advisory that recommends everyone over the age of two should wear a face mask at indoor gatherings regardless of their vaccination status. The advisory also recommends establishments implement a policy to ensure that all persons entering or seeking services, including employees, wear a mask.
FDA Approves Booster Shots for All Adults

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized booster doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for anyone 18 years of age and older.

The emergency use authorization, given by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, means that any adult who has received a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months earlier is now eligible to receive a booster. Until now, the booster was only available to those who are 65 or older, adults with medical conditions known to cause COVID complications, adults living or working in congregant settings, and front-line workers.

The changed booster strategy comes as cases are ticking up not only in West Michigan but across the Midwest and northern states. All eligible residents are strongly encouraged to get a COVID-19 vaccination or booster which will help slow the rate of transmission in our community. Booster or vaccination appointments can be made by calling the Kent County Health Department at (616) 632-7200.
Region 6 Issues Open Letter to the Community

The Region 6 Healthcare Coalition recently issued an open letter to the residents of Clare, Ionia, Isabella, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, and Ottawa counties urging them to do everything they can to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Michigan is currently the worst COVID-19 hot spot in the nation and many our region's hospitals are - or near- capacity. This likely will result in longer wait times at emergency rooms, postponement of non-emergency medical procedures, and the delay of some patient transfers.

The coalition urged residents to use their primary care office or urgent care for minor or non-emergent problems. If you have an emergency, please call 911 or go to the emergency department as soon as possible.

Also, residents can help control the spread of the virus by:

  • Getting a COVID-19 vaccination or booster if you are eligible
  • Getting children 5-18 vaccinated
  • Washing hands frequently
  • Wearing a mask when in indoor public spaces or outdoors when unable to socially distance
  • Practicing healthy behaviors such as social distancing, getting good sleep, eating well, and exercising.

Last, we are all reminded to be patient with our dedicated health care workers as they are doing all they can to care for a large number of patients. Click here to review the letter.
Did you get your flu shot?

Can I get my COVID vaccine or booster shot at the same time I get my flu shot? Dr. Erin McNeely, FACP from Spectrum Health answers this frequently asked question.
It is never too late to protect yourself from the flu virus. And one of the best ways to protect you and your family over the Thanksgiving holiday is to get a flu shot!

Appointments for flu vaccines can be made at any of the Health Department's clinics by calling (616) 632-7200.
Vaccine Locations

The KCHD provides easy access to FREE COVID-19 vaccines at our health clinics! If you need a COVID-19 vaccine, find our mobile unit at the following locations:

Fuller Clinic
  • 700 Fuller NE | Grand Rapids, MI 49503

South Clinic
  • 4700 Kalamazoo Ave SE | Kentwood, MI 49508

Clinic Hours
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday:
8 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
CLOSED 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

1st, 3rd & 5th Thursday of Month:
12:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.
2nd & 4th Thursday of Month:
10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. & 1:45 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.

Mobile Clinic: Hispanic Center of Western Michigan
  • 1204 Grandville Ave SW | Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • Wednesdays 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Find more COVID-19 vaccine clinics here.
Do You Need a COVID-19 Test?

During cold and flu season, it can be difficult to distinguish what your symptoms mean. Click here to see the differences between cold, flu and COVID-19 symptoms to help you decide if you need a COVID-19 test. There are several testing locations available in Kent County, find available locations here or use the testing site locator for a site nearest to you.
Newsletter en español
Para información en español haga clic aquí.
Watch this video to get the facts about the COVID-19 vaccine from Dr. Martin Aramburu with Mercy Health Saint Mary's.
Kent County Health Department
700 Fuller Ave. NE
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503
Tel: (616) 632-7100
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