Why Has Kalamazoo County Only Tested 41 People For Covid-19?
(UPDATE) People are being turned away for testing in Kalamazoo County leading the public to believe there are no cases.
4 cases have been confirmed in Kalamazoo County.
As of Noon yesterday (March 19th, 2020) only 41 people have been tested. Out of those 41 people only 15 tests have been processed UPDATED: as of 2:00 P.M. on Wednesday, March 25th Kalamazoo County has only tested 88 people and only 55 of those tests have been processed according to the Kalamazoo County Government website. Why are we averaging only 3-4 processed tests a day in our county? I've reached out to the Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services multiple times for comment since March 19th. As soon we hear back we'll let you know what they say.
On Facebook Cat Stephens says she has symptoms and was turned away,
I asked last week on Thursday to be tested from my doctor at Grace Health,I was told no. Called Monday still told no. Been sick for over a week though.
We heard a similar story from Shaun Cornillie on Facebook,
Yup I went to Borgess Immediate Care on Angling and was told they aren’t testing for The Coronavirus or the flu because they wanted to save the cotton swabs.
Same problem in Battle Creek according to Carmen Alexandra,
Both of my brothers suddenly became ill. Fevers, body aches, dry coughs, etc. They were not tested for influenza OR COVID-19 due to lack of tests at urgent care in Battle Creek
Do we have 0 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Kalamazoo County only because we're not testing people. That seems very likely. So, what's going on here? WWMT reached out to Lyndi Warner from the Kalamazoo County Health Department and got this response,
“There is a valid concern about undetected COVID-19 cases because of low testing capacity,” Warner wrote. “This is one reason why adhering to social distancing and community mitigation strategies is so important.”
It is confusing that other counties in Michigan are testing thousands more people. The fact that we only have 15 tests that have been processed as we are this deep into the pandemic is inexcusable to many. At this point anyone that has symptoms and anyone that has had contact with someone that tested positive should be tested.
In the meantime Warner tells WWMT that people should take the following steps:
- Stay home if you are mildly sick (runny nose, sneezing, cough)
- Call your doctor before going to clinic
- Only go to the emergency department if you are very sick. Severe COVID-19 symptoms include shortness of breath, confusion, chest pain or pressure, and bluish lips. This list is incomplete; talk to your doctor about other signs of medical emergencies
- Follow public health recommendations and orders
- Adhere to the Governor’s executive orders
- Wash your hands
- Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough with your elbow or sleeve