Gov. Whitmer advises the community to keep holiday gatherings small as Omicron spreads through the state

Posted at 9:40 AM, Dec 21, 2021

Health leaders say we now have 8 cases of the highly contagious Omicron variant in our community. The discovery comes just 4 days before Christmas.

Nearly 14,000 new cases have been reported since Saturday. That's about 4,600 cases per day. 160 more deaths were also reported.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer addressed the state Monday saying she was concerned about the number of indoor gatherings happening and what that could mean for our current case rate.

Whitmer says vaccines were and continue to be our way out of this.
Unfortunately, nearly 40 percent of Michiganders are still holding out. In Detroit, that number is even higher.

"God forbid one of us has a car accident when we leave here and has to go to the hospital and hope to get seen [since] they are overwhelmed with covid patients right now," Whitmer said. "They're telling us that Omicron is going to quickly be the dominant variant because it is just so easy to catch."

Data collected on Omicron shows cases double every 2 to 3 days.

According to the CDC the new variant now accounts for 73 % of COVID infections nationwide.

"As we congregate for the holidays we are encouraging people to do what we know works. That's vaccinations. Masking up. That's small gatherings."

Detroit's vaccination rate sits at 44% while the state's vaccination rate is 62%. Local resident Denzel Turner says those still on the fence about the shot should reach out to a trusted source.

"One of the biggest misconceptions is that it doesn't work, or why get it if it doesn't work, but it protects from getting worse complications from COVID."

Doctors say it's important to develop a strategy to slow the spread even it that means more restrictions.

"Limits in terms of capacity for restaurants or to have mask mandates for public areas. I think those are more feasible and those would make a difference because that would shut down transmission immediately," one doctor said.

Whitmer says get vaccinated or get boosted if. You've already got the first two shots.