CALHOUN COUNTY, Mich. — As the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services continues tracking this new wave of cases in Michigan, the New York Times is reporting that six of the 10 metro areas in the nation seeing the highest case rates relative to their population are in Michigan.
These statistics are limited to areas with at least 50,000 people based on numbers from the last two weeks.
In Eaton County, Lansing is responsible for a surge there. Calhoun County is also on the list because of the numbers in Battle Creek.
Over on the east side of the state, Genesee County is on the list because of Flint. Detroit City is also on the list with the same average as Detroit.
Down south, Monroe and Jackson County are also on the list as well.
Both the Calhoun and Ingham County Health departments said the rise they're seeing is being caused by the new B.1.1.7 variant.
"We have some significant issues going on right now kind of across the state, but in some areas worse than others. We are really struggling here right now," said Laura Vail, the health officer for the Ingham County Health Department.
Ingham County said they're seeing about 100 new cases per day.
"Numbers are going up really quite rapidly. We are seeing a steep increase in cases in the last couple of weeks as well as percent positivity. We had gotten to a point to where our percent positivity had dipped just below five, and we are now approaching 11," said Vail.
"I think our seven-day average is right around 40 cases a day which is more than what we were a month ago but it’s not quite as much as in October or November when we shut down some things. We were higher than that, but we are heading in that direction, and it is the wrong direction to head," said Eric Pessell, the health officer for the Calhoun County Public Health Department.
The Calhoun County Public Health Department also saw an increase.
Both departments said the reason they believe numbers are increasing is because of the new variant which is supposedly more transmissible.
"Everybody always brings up...is it fatigue? Is it COVID fatigue? Are people just tired of wearing a mask and want to gather? There might be some of that as well, but I think this has more to do with the variant," said Pessell.
In response to the New York Times chart, Calhoun County and Ingham County Health Departments recognize their numbers have gone up because they're living it.
"We just keep doing the same things we have always been doing. It doesn’t call for a special response. What it does is it calls for reminders, you know, we are not through this yet," said Vail.
Both departments are encouraging people to continue getting tested if they believe they may have been exposed.
On April 5, when everyone becomes eligible to get vaccinated in the state of Michigan, the departments said to sign up so we can move closer towards building herd immunity and get back to normal.