Health officials say hospital resources are becoming stressed amid a record number of new positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the past several weeks in Calhoun County.

As Calhoun County continues to see widespread community transmission of COVID-19, area healthcare organizations are urging the public to take action to slow the spread of the virus. Currently, local hospitals and health agencies are anticipating even more cases of COVID-19 due to an increase in household gatherings over the long holiday weekend.

Healthcare leaders ask residents to take proper steps to quarantine or isolate if they suspect they were exposed to COVID-19, and/or if they test positive for the virus. They say they are also counting on the community to practice safe behaviors so health systems do not become overwhelmed with patients. This includes limiting gatherings and travel to other households for the upcoming holidays.

As of Wednesday, December 2, there are 50 COVID-19 positive individuals hospitalized in Calhoun County, and hospitals in neighboring counties report extremely high numbers as well. That’s on top of the normal rate of hospitalizations for issues such as heart attacks, strokes, and surgeries.

Our hospital, community, and county have seen a record number of new positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the past several weeks, and we do not anticipate this slowing down anytime soon," said Gregg Beeg, president and CEO of Oaklawn. "The current surge is stressing our county hospitals' resources. Concerns of bed capacity and staffing needs are high.

Kirk Richardson, Bronson Healthcare senior vice president of community care, says;

We are treating more and more patients for COVID-19 at Bronson Battle Creek, and our staff wants the community to know it doesn’t have to be this way. We urge people to follow the safety guidelines to help stop this public health crisis from growing out of control, taking more lives, and exhausting the finite number of healthcare providers and resources available in our county.

As soon as symptoms arise, it is important to be tested for COVID-19. Call your primary care provider, or find a test site directly by visiting michigan.gov/coronavirus and clicking "Find a Test Site" half-way down the page. Some sites require a doctor's order, but there are a few that do not.

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