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COVID-19 Cases Surge In Kalamazoo County

Blue-gloved hands hold a plastic bag with a red-and-black biohazard symbol on it.
David J. Phillip
AP Photo

Kalamazoo County’s medical director is urging people to “avoid or limit” social gatherings and to take any symptoms that could be COVID-19 seriously, as coronavirus infections soar in the county.

Dr. William Nettleton said the county’s confirmed infection rate is now about twice as high as it was when cases peaked in the spring.

Nettleton said gatherings are driving the rise. While people have to mask up and distance at work and school, he said, they’re not as careful when they visit. Nettleton said that for now, skipping those visits or keeping them to a minimum was the best way to keep people safe.

“It is not inevitable that we all get COVID-19. We have effective ways to reduce risk. And we still do not know the long-term outcomes of those who recover,” Nettleton said.

The County’s infection rate is high enough, Nettleton said, that even a few sniffles warrant a follow-up with a doctor.

“We hear almost every day, ‘I thought it was my allergies and it was actually COVID-19,’” he said.

“The likelihood of it being COVID-19 is higher at this point in time than it has ever been before in our experience of the pandemic in Kalamazoo County.”

When people must gather, Nettleton said, they should wear masks, stay six feet apart from each other and wash their hands frequently.

Sehvilla Mann joined WMUK’s news team in 2014 as a reporter on the local government and education beats. She covered those topics and more in eight years of reporting for the Station, before becoming news director in 2022.
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