The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reminds residents that yes, COVID-19 remains a threat.
Cases are rising, especially in southeastern Michigan, and the state Department of Health expects the number will continue to rise until May, when people gather for prom, graduations and other events, when the school year ends.
When looking at new cases per. 100,000 people by county since April 13, Washtenaw, Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties were in the top six.
Overall, the seven-day average is on new, confirmed cases in Michigan is the highest it has been since February. The share of positive tests, which rose to more than 30% in January and fell to less than 3% in March, was up around 7% on Tuesday.
It is not unexpected, it sounds from the National Board of Health. The Omicron sub-variant BA.2 drives up transmission, even more contagious than its predecessor, which swept into the state and country at the beginning of the year. It now accounts for about 74% of cases in the United States and about 81% of cases in the six-state region that includes Michigan, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention model that estimates proportions of circulating variants.
“While we wish we could avoid these types of increases in cases, the good news is that we have excellent, effective tools for traveling safely and gathering with our loved ones and preventing serious outcomes from COVID-19,” Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS Chief Medical Officer. director, said in a statement.
She urged residents to make a COVID-19 plan. Have home tests on hand, talk to doctors about possible treatments prior to infection, stay updated on vaccines and get tested when you are sick or exposed.
Hospital admissions and deaths are not expected to increase significantly because many have been vaccinated and few without immunity escaped the winter omicron wave, the health department reported.
The number of people hospitalized across the country with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 has increased in the last two weeks after a month-long drop, but there are now about 530 patients, about a tenth of the highest number reported in January.
Michigan’s latest COVID-19 report shows that hospital admissions are rising in southeastern Michigan; central Michigan, including the Lansing and Jackson areas; and on the upper peninsula. They fell this week in the western half of the Lower Peninsula and in the thumb and northeastern Michigan.
Deaths, though limping with increases in new cases, are on the decline. As of Wednesday, the state had an average of 10 new, reported and confirmed deaths a day.
As of Wednesday, the state saw a seven-day average of 1,246 new, confirmed cases a day. This was an increase from 950 the previous week and less than 700 at the beginning of this month. In January, the average was over 17,000, which is a record high.
In the last two weeks, Michigan has experienced among the highest percentage increases in new cases in the United States. It ranks No. 4 among states. When looking at new cases per. per capita, however, it drops to number 14, according to the New York Times.
Michigan remains in the post-wave recovery phase. “But public health officials continue to monitor the situation closely and will notify the public if anything changes,” the statement said.
Andrew Cox, health officer and director of the Macomb County Health Department, noted last week that the county had doubled its seven-day average in the past month.
“Yes, compared to the beginning of January (the numbers) are much lower. I think the concern is always to see us go in the opposite direction.”
The health department was waiting to see if the students’ return from the spring break at all affected the number.
For the past two years, there has been a springboard. “We are not quite at the level we have seen over the last two years,” he said.
In April 2021, the seven-day average of new, confirmed cases per day peaked at about 7,000, far more than the state now sees. In 2020, when there were widespread COVID closures, the average rose to around 1,500.
Cox said hospitals so far are a much better place than last winter or last spring.
“I think you’re always worried that with a lot of restrictions and things and the mitigation strategies not being introduced or followed, then you’re always worried,” he said.
Over-the-counter quick tests give people quick results so they can immediately isolate themselves when they are positive and inform those who have been around them, health officials have said.
The State Department of Health encourages people to test before group parties and gatherings, especially when vulnerable people, the elderly, and residents with pre-existing medical conditions will be present.
Cox said health officials would also like to see more people vaccinated. “Just to make sure they’re protected.”
As of April 13, about 65.9% of the eligible population in Michigan has received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The number has changed a bit in the last few months. Last week, about 1,600 people received a first dose, according to the state Department of Health.
About 37% of those 12 and older in Michigan have received their primary shot and a booster dose. (Booster shots are not recommended for children under 12.)
The state recommends, as it has often done during the pandemic, residents:
- Stay up to date on vaccines
- Learn about therapyincluding antibody treatments and antiviral drugs
- Isolate and quarantine if necessary
- Get tested when you are exposed or if you experience symptoms
- Demonstrate good hand hygiene
- Get free KN95 masks, distributed by community organizations, including local MDHHS offices, health departments and Area Agency on Aging offices.
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