Spectrum Health Lakeland Gives COVID Update

Spectrum Health Lakeland President Loren Hamel says the skyrocketing number of new COVID-19 cases we’re seeing in Berrien County lately is due to people being less diligent. Speaking to the Berrien County Board of Commissioners Thursday, Hamel said the numbers are sobering.

“The overall odds if you live in Berrien County are about 1 in 30 that you’ve had a diagnosis of COVID,” Hamel said. “If you’ve had a diagnosis of COVID, you have about a 1 in 9 chance of being sick enough to be in the hospital. That’s a really stunning statistic. When people try to compare this with influenza, this is not influenza. Nowhere close to 1 in 10 people who get a diagnosis with influenza need hospitalization.”

Hamel said Lakeland has about 60 COVID patients as of now.

“We will be completely overwhelmed within four weeks if nothing else changes.”

Hamel said he expects to run out of staff before they run out of beds. He noted the younger someone is, the less likely they will be to take precautions, and that’s part of the problem. They’re seeing more asymptomatic cases of COVID that could have spread the illness to others.