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Ingham County Health Department sounds off on keeping St. Patrick's Day celebrations COVID-safe

Posted at 10:15 AM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 15:07:42-04

MSU CAMPUS — At Michigan State University’s campus it may be “Go Green” all year long, but celebrating St. Patrick’s Day under the pandemic will a little look different in downtown East Lansing this year.

“There are a number of things going on in the East Lansing area in terms of preparation for St. Patrick’s day. Largely in the East Lansing and East Lansing surrounding area,” Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said.

The city of East Lansing maintains an indoor and outdoor mask mandate and limited gathering capacity. The city will also be cracking down on lines outside of bars and restaurants for the holiday. As of Tuesday, people in the 20 to 29-year-old age range hold the highest percentage of COVID-19 positivity in the county.

“If you cut up these two age groups, you’d really see the 18-to-24 age group is really driving the majority of that,” Vail said.

Vail also says there’s concern throughout the state as multiple counties are seeing increased case rates over the past two weeks.

COVID-19 case numbers in our neighborhoods

"If you look at the state’s dashboard as well as the MI Start Map, you’ll see that a lot of counties are seeing a little bit of an increase in cases," she said. "It’s not huge, but it is a little bit of an increase and it’s taking some counties that were one point at a risk level D back up to risk level E.”

Some of those increases are tied to new variants of the virus identified here in Michigan. Twelve cases of the B.1.1.7 variant have been confirmed in Ingham County.

“It’s not uncommon at this time to see some B.1.1.7 variants,” Vail said. “I think the most important message about it is not to be scared of a variant.”

Starting Monday, Michiganders age 16 and older with medical conditions and disabilities are eligible for the vaccine. All Michigan residents age 16 and up will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting April 5 and health officials are saying to get registered as soon as possible to reserve your spot.

AP Images. Detroit mass vaccination site.

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