West Central Michigan
The QDMA REACH Program
REACH is an aggressive national education and outreach program from the Quality Deer Management Association that benefits hunters, landowners and deer managers in several ways. REACH is the acronym for Research, Educate, Advocate, Certify and Hunt.
Dave Bopp, President
Jim Blaszak, Vice President:
Do you work or stay home with the flu?
Like many people, Belinda Lopez wrestles with the decision of going to work or staying home when she's sick.
"It depends on how many hours you have for sick time," she told 24 Hour News 8. "You can only use so many hours. So you can't stay home the whole time. But if you have one or two days you're really band and need to stay in bed, then stay in bed."
Lopez, who works for the Kent County Prosecutor's Office, said a lot of people in the office have had the flu and stayed home for a couple days -- even though they've been sick longer.
"You can't stay home two weeks, which is what it's taking."
One poster said, "I work in retail and basically it's show up or be fired. No-one cares anymore if you're sick."
Another said, "unless I'm dying, I have to go to work."
But others said their jobs have sick pay and management tells them to stay home to avoid contaminating other workers.
Lopez said she'd stay home with the flu -- at least for a while -- because she knows how easy it is to spread the disease.
"We're touching files and when we pass the files, other people are touching them, too."
West Michigan hospitals are busy with flu cases, but no hospital is turning away patients. Hackley Hospital in Muskegon is expecting a 20% increase in the number of patients this month. Holland Hospital saw an increase, but said it's levelled off.
Kalamazoo's Bronson Hospital said flu cases and other illnesses made worse by the flu continue to climb. They're at about 99% capacity in their emergency room.
The Center for Disease Control said the flu may have peaked in some regions but continues to rise in others.
Michigan health officials have confirmed 338 flu cases at state-run labs and said this flu season in the state has been worse than some others and is "not slowing down yet." Southwest, central and southeast Michigan have been hardest hit.