As Michigan is in the midst of yet another COVID-19 surge, much of West Michigan is feeling the strain more than other regions. Most West Michigan counties fall into "Region 6" of the Healthcare Coalition that was setup during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Region 6 Healthcare Coalition in cooperation with Region 6 Hospitals and EMS agencies has released a letter to residents warning that the healthcare system is being overwhelmed.

COVID-19 numbers have been rising in the region for several weeks and that, combined with patients with other serious health issues that cannot be further delayed or ignored, are beginning to put a strain on hospitals in the region.

Emergency rooms and urgent care centers are experiencing additional wait times due to the surging COVID-19 numbers and that can affect your health care needs. You could experience increased wait times at emergency, urgent, and primary care facilities, visitor restrictions are still in effect, and you may have to wait for a bed if you are asked to stay at the hospital for a procedure or for observation.

The Region 6 Healthcare Coalition is asking residents to help reduce the strain on the healthcare system by following a few guidelines.  You can get a a COVID-19 vaccination or booster, get your children aged 5 to 18 vaccinated, wash your hands, wear masks, and practice social distancing.

Region 6 contains the following counties: Clare, Ionia, Isabella, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, Ottawa.

You can get more information about COVID-19 in our region and read the full press release at MIRegion6.org.

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