Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital provides a bi-weekly community update regarding activities and current information. Some content will be related to the COVID-19 pandemic as new information becomes available or changes occur. Other content will be general information related to Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital.

For the latest COVID-19 information, visit www.spectrumhealth.org/covid-19. The dashboard reflects the 16-county region served by Spectrum Health. Local information can be found on the District Health Department No. 10 website at www.dhd10.org.

COVID-19 positive cases

Two weeks ago, the Spectrum Health dashboard indicated that there were 205 COVID-19 positive individuals in Spectrum Health facilities. At that time, it was the highest number to date (Nov. 3), and was up from 107 in the previous update from Oct. 20. On Tuesday, that number was 324. The seven-day average percent positivity rate was at 10.9%, which was up from 6.2% on Oct. 20. Tuesday, that number is 18.6%. Throughout the summer months, the positivity rate was 2% to 4%. These numbers reflect the 16-county Spectrum Health service area and clearly show that COVID-19 is spreading rapidly across West Michigan.

As of Nov. 17, there have been 433 confirmed cases in Mason County (up from 279 two weeks ago), 929 in Oceana County (up from 662 two weeks ago), 246 in Manistee County and 128 in Lake County (up from 154 and 73, respectively two weeks ago). Confirmed cases in our region are reported through District Health Department No. 10.

In previous updates, Spectrum Health gave the total number of tests conducted at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital and positivity rate from those tests. Because of the delay in testing results across Spectrum Health, the health system does not have current data to share. Along with positive cases and increasing hospitalizations, Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital is seeing an increase in its positivity rate. As of Nov. 10, the last day statistics were available, the positivity rate was 4.7%, up from 3.8% two weeks ago and 3.2% four weeks ago.

As of Tuesday, Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital has 15 in-patient COVID-19 patients. Hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients have increased over the past two weeks at all Spectrum Health facilities, and the health care provider is expecting and planning for further increases in both hospitalizations and ICU bed assignments.

MDHHS announces new efforts to slow spread

With COVID-19 spreading rapidly throughout the state and the highest death rate from COVID-19 to date, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced a pause to save lives, outlining those events and activities that can continue and those that are paused during the latest surge of COVID-19.

“Now more than ever, it’s important to wear a mask when you have people in your home or are in public, stay a safe distance from others and wash your hands frequently,” says Drew Dostal, president of Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital. “We need your help so that we can continue to provide care for those who need it.”

Changes to COVID-19 testing criteria at all Spectrum Health facilities

Across the country, and here in West Michigan, COVID-19 testing supplies remain limited. Patient test results may take several days based on the extremely high demand for testing in our communities. Patients will be given guidance on what to do while awaiting test results. To reduce the testing burden on its system, Spectrum Health implemented the following changes to its testing criteria this week:

• Effective Nov. 1, outpatient COVID-19 tests will be available only to those who have symptoms. If the patient does not meet that criteria, they will not qualify to receive testing at a Spectrum Health facility. Patients whose only risk is exposure to someone with COVID-19 should follow recommendations from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention on self-quarantine and pursue testing if they develop new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19;

• Effective Nov. 16, Spectrum Health COVID-19 testing locations will not accommodate walk-ins/drive-ups without a scheduled appointment.

Outpatient COVID-19 testing hours expanded

Beginning Oct. 30, hours were expanded at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital for drive-through outpatient COVID-19 testing. New hours are 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. seven days per week. To get a nasal swab at the Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital drive-through COVID-19 testing site, you must have an order from a physician or other medical care provider and an appointment.

Employees at the drive-through site cannot provide nasal swabs without the authorization of the medical order for the test. To get an appointment, please go online to www.spectrumhealth.org/covid19/myhealth-screening.

Note that orders are given only for patients with symptoms of COVID-19. Information is provided for directions on calling the COVID-19 hotline or scheduling an appointment from your MyHealth account, which is accessed through MyChart in the Spectrum Health app.

Located in the hospital’s southwest parking lot, testing is available seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; closed between noon and 1 p.m. for lunch.

Wear. Wait. Wash.

Visitors at all Spectrum Health facilities will continue to be asked to wear a mask, wait at least 6 feet apart and wash their hands often. Practicing these three behaviors can reduce the transmission of infectious droplets between people and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The preceding was paid for by Spectrum Health.