HILLSDALE, Mich. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending people mask back up in 11 Michigan counties. Hillsdale County is one of them.
"The CDC gathers the latest data and scientific information and makes recommendations based off that," Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency Health Officer Rebecca Burns said. "They have changed their recommendations to now, when the community has a higher level of community transmission, to wear mask when indoors whether you're fully vaccinated or not, and that's because a fully vaccinated individual who may contract the Delta variant may be able to spread that virus to others.”
Only 36.9 percent of Hillsdale County residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and the county is seeing an uptick in cases.
"We had a slight increase in new cases of illness and that has bumped up the overall rate of positive infections in the past few days and put Hillsdale County into what’s considered a higher rate of community transmission," Burns said.
The more infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus could be driving these numbers up.
"This Delta variant which wasn't here last fall or this this winter is here now and and it acts just a little bit different and that's what viruses do they continue to morph and change," Burns said.
But don't expect any mandatory mask requirements, Hillsdale Mayor Adam Stockfield said..
"I trust the residents of this city to make their own decisions," Stockford said. "I trust the businesses of the city to make their own decisions. I trust that they're all responsible people. That trust remains today. So, I have respect for the CDC as an organization but I'll leave it up to my people."
Hillsdale County has seen on average three new cases daily.
"I totally believe that the path out of this pandemic is through vaccination," Burns said. "We are working very hard to provide every opportunity to every individual to get that vaccine. We're working hard to dispel myths because the misinformation that's available to everyone is very compelling, very well done, and is as hard to sort through sometimes."
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