Officials warn Michigan potentially facing another COVID-19 case surge

Posted at 11:54 AM, Mar 19, 2021

(WXYZ) — Michigan could potentially be facing another COVID-19 case surge, Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said in a press conference Friday.

Dr. Khaldun said "very concerning data" shows that the state is going in the wrong direction

"We're not out of the woods yet," she said.

Case rates in Michigan are now at 173 cases per million and have been increasing for the past four weeks. They have increased 77% in all age groups, but those aged 10-19 have seen the largest increase.

Additionally, percent positivity has increased for the past four weeks and is now at 6.2 percent. There has also been an increase in hospitalization rates for the past two weeks, with 4.9% of inpatient beds being used for COVID-19 patients.

Dr. Khaldun said many of the cases are related to outbreaks, which have increased to 645 statewide.

Last week, the number of cases in K-12 settings exceeded the number in long-term care facilities. Dr. Khaldun said there are risks with activities related to children in this age group.

Many of the outbreaks are related to sports; Dr. Khaldun said 315 outbreaks are associated with different sports teams related to clubs, schools and recreational sports.

Additionally, Dr. Khaldun said that while children are less likely to get severely ill from COVID-19, they still can. The state is still tracking cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, known as MIS-C, a syndrome associated with COVID-19 in children that can cause multiple organs to be inflamed.

So far, 89 cases of MIS-C have been identified in children in Michigan.

"We still need to protect our children from this terrible virus," Dr. Khaldun said.

The state is also continuing to track variants. Currently, 736 cases of the B117 variant have been identified across 31 counties across the state. Michigan has the second-most cases of this variant in the United States, behind Florida.

Dr. Khaldun said the majority of the cases with this variant is associated with outbreaks in congregate settings, but the variant is also spreading in the community.

"I'm concerned about our current numbers," she said. "It's imperative we protect each other by wearing masks and social distancing."

"How this plays out depends on what we all do collectively to protect ourselves and our families."

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