Jackson area has highest COVID rates in the nation, New York Times says

Posted at 7:13 PM, Mar 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-28 22:44:45-04

JACKSON, Mich — Data from the New York Times shows the Jackson area is leading the country in recent COVID-19 cases relative to the size of its population.

In fact, there are four Michigan cities in the top 20.

There are 1,436 recent cases in Jackson over the past two weeks, according to the New York Times, a rate of 64.7 per 100,000 residents. That is the most in the nation.

The Lansing area is 7th with a rate of 41.8 per 100,000.

Data from the state of Michigan shows that Jackson County is getting more than 100 new cases per day.

Dr. Courtland Keteyian from Henry Ford Allegiance Health says case rates have climbed quickly from around 20 cases a day at the beginning of the month and we might be experiencing the third wave of the coronavirus.

“At this point the formula is pretty simple," Keteyian said. "The wearing masks and distancing is really effective at preventing spread. As we start to ease off on the restrictions and people get a little less vigilant with the mask wearing. I don’t think there’s anything more complicated than that. We’ve been easing off the restrictions here locally and we just haven’t vaccinated enough people yet. So, we’ve done I think tremendous getting out vaccine as quickly as we’ve gotten it but it’s not enough to really interrupt the spread enough that we need.”

FILE - In this June 9, 2020, file photo COVID-19 patients lie on beds in a field hospital built inside a gym in Santo Andre, on the outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil. A new snapshot of the frantic global response to the coronavirus pandemic shows some of the world's largest government donors of humanitarian assistance are buckling under the strain and overall aid commitments have dropped by a third from the same period last year. (AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)

There are currently 28 people hospitalized at Henry Ford Allegiance Health with COVID-19. Keteyian says that number may change due to the 10-to-14-day delay in the onset of symptoms.

"It's obviously been worse at other times," Keteyian said.

Vaccinations are underway. Statewide anyone 50 and older or 16 and older with an underlying health condition that would put them at risk of death from contracting COVID-19 is eligible for the vaccine.

"The people that are coming in to get vaccinated are extremely thankful. There are people who haven't been out of their houses in a year. They have been very careful at being vigilant and trying to be distanced," Keteyian said. "Ultimately it's going to take us to be vaccinated. We're not out of the woods yet. We really have to continue to be cautious. We're getting close but we got more work to do on the vaccines and we got to be careful until we get through more people."

Starting April 5, everyone 16 and older will be eligible for the vaccine. Detroit has expanded their availability to allow anyone 18 and older who lives and works in the city and has to report to their work's location to get the vaccine.

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