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As cases surge in Muskegon County, Mercy Health considering closed hospital for COVID care site

The Muskegon County Health Department website shows a new one-day record with 153 COVID-19 cases on Nov. 4.

Cumulative COVID-19 cases surpassed 3,000 this week in Muskegon County and according to the Muskegon County Health Department's website a new single day COVID-19 record was set Nov. 4 with 153 cases. The previous single day record was 117 on Oct. 30.

The rate of positive testes is now above 17 percent.

The number of hospitalizations has increased so rapidly Mercy Health Muskegon has dedicate three hospital floors to treating COVID-19 patients. 

"It has been a significant rise in a short period of time," said  Mercy Health Muskegon Chief Medical Officer Justin Grill.  

Grill says the hospital currently has about 80 COVID-19 patients.

Based on current daily cases hospitalization are likely to increase in the coming days. 

RELATED: MDHHS issues guidance to help keep workplaces safe

Grill says Mercy Health is managing the current surge, but elective in patient surgeries at the hospital are being postponed.

Mercy Health is in talks with other west Michigan health systems, the State of Michigan, and the Region Six Healthcare Coalition to determine if the closed Mercy Health Hackley Hospital is needed as a COVID care site.

"It's true, we're thinking about it and working towards that as a possibility," said Grill.

In order to stop community spread Grill is calling on Muskegon County residents to do four things to reduce the spread of the virus: cover your nose and mouth with a mask, stay at least 6 feet away from others, wash your hands frequently, and postpone gathering any larger than 10 people or two families. 

Similar safety precautions were included in a letter Mercy Health and the health department sent this week to parents with students in Muskegon County school districts.

As cases surge city leaders in Muskegon decided to close city hall, access restrictions were also implemented at the Muskegon County Hall of Justice.

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