COVID-19 test positivity rate continues to increase
Muskegon, Mich. (March 26, 2021) – Mercy Health and Public Health – Muskegon County have announced that 25 percent of Muskegon County residents have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. However, community members should remain vigilant in following guidelines around social distancing and masking.
“We are thrilled that such a substantial portion of the community is vaccinated, as this is a big step towards reaching the end of the pandemic. However, we’re not out of the woods just yet,” said Justin Grill, DO, chief medical officer of Mercy Health Muskegon (pictured left). “As vaccine eligibility continues to expand in the coming weeks, we encourage our community members to take advantage of these opportunities. We’ve seen an increase in younger individuals acquiring and transmitting COVID-19. So even if you are younger and healthy, it is still important to get vaccinated, not only to protect yourself but to protect your loved ones, too.”
Despite reaching this significant milestone for vaccinations, the test positivity rate continues to increase. As of March 26, 2021, Muskegon County is seeing a five percent test positivity rate. It has doubled since mid-March, when the rate was at 2.5 percent.
Kathy Moore, director of Public Health – Muskegon County, suggests this is due to new, more contagious variants, as well as pandemic fatigue. “We know the community is growing tired of the social distancing and masking guidelines. We are all eager to get back to a more normal life, like we had before the pandemic. But we encourage you to hold out a little longer. If we keep following these guidelines over the next few months, it will give us more time to vaccinate the community and maybe even allow us more flexibility as we head into summer.”
As the positivity rate continues to increase, so does the number of COVID-positive inpatients at Mercy Health Muskegon. On February 23, 2021, Mercy Health Muskegon announced it had zero COVID-positive inpatients for the first time since the start of the pandemic in spring 2020. Today, Mercy Health Muskegon has ten COVID-positive inpatients.
Community members are encouraged to continue to follow guidelines around social distancing, limiting the size of gatherings, wearing masks in public and frequent hand washing. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidance for people who have achieved full vaccination status.
“Full vaccination is achieved two weeks post-vaccine. If you received a Moderna or Pfizer vaccine which has two doses, then full vaccination is achieved two weeks after your second dose. If you received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, full vaccination is achieved two weeks after you receive that dose,” said Claudia Jarrin, MD, medical director of Infection Prevention and Control at Mercy Health Muskegon. “We have seen people in the community behaving as if they are fully vaccinated immediately following their first shot. It is important for people to know that is not the case. It takes time for the vaccine to build up the immunity in your body.”
For instructions on how to register for a COVID-19 vaccine through Mercy Health using your MyChart account, visit www.MercyHealth.com/ScheduleVaccine.
For questions regarding vaccine eligibility and registration, call 2-1-1.