COVID-19 and omicron cases are falling – and so are masks. Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian talks about what’s next and whether we’re taking off too fast.
COVID-19 cases are falls rapidly across the country. In fact, the number of new infections has dropped by almost two-thirds of what it was just a few weeks ago. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s senior medical adviser, said last week that the United States is leaves the “complete pandemic phase” of the COVID-19 crisis.
“One of the things you really need to keep in mind is that this is not linear, it’s not a straight line from pandemic until it’s over.” – Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Chief Medical Executive of Michigan
But hospital admissions remain high nationwide. That’s while some local health departments end mask mandates to schools and other environments. Are we almost out of this omicron wave that has made so many people sick and killed and disrupted our lives over the last few months? Or is it too early to start failing our guard?
Listen: Michigan’s best doctor gives an update on the pandemic and what’s coming next.
Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian is Michigan’s top medical director, serving as Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s top medical adviser. She says the latest COVID-19 figures in Michigan reflect “some really positive news.”
“All of our measurements are going down,” Bagdasarian says. “And not only are they going downhill when we look at our overall nationwide surveys, but they’re going down in all of our areas.”
She says Michigan’s rate of new COVID-19 cases is 235 weekly cases per year. 100,000 Tuesday morning. That’s compared to 1,400 “just a few weeks ago.”
Michigan’s COVID-19 test positivity rate is 11.5%, which she says has “dropped abruptly.”
“And of course, the best metric is our hospital capacity and the number of patients in the hospital with COVID,” says Bagdasarian. “So we are down to 12% of our hospital beds occupied by COVID patients. And we had been well above 20-23% at the top of our increase.”
While Bagdasarian says she “feels really positive about this news,” she says it is important that Michigan residents continue to be cautious.
“One of the things to really keep in mind is that this is not linear, it is not a straight line from pandemic until it is over,” she says. “What we’re actually talking about is having to take a few steps forward, and then maybe take a step back and move on. And again, these would mean that you have to spend for these processes. “
“COVID is not gone. COVID-19 is not done with us,” she continues. And also, we need to be able to send messages to the public when it’s OK to take a sigh of relief, when it’s OK to breathe a little easier, when it’s OK to participate in some of the activities that we has kept. turn off. “