LANSING, Mich. — COVID-19 cases are on the rise in mid-Michigan. In fact, the region is seeing more cases now than at this time last year.
“Our cumulative hospitalization graph is on a significant upward trend, not where we were in October, November December or March, April, May, but we have significantly less cases there. This is really a significant upward trend," said Ingham County Health Department Health Officer Linda Vail.
Ingham County accumulated another 340 new COVID cases this last week. The county has 75 patients hospitalized with the virus and there are 17 in intensive care.
“Percent positivity is now well above 5 percent. We have actually had a day where we exceeded 10 percent positivity. So we're really starting to head into 7 or so percent positivity at this point in time," Vail said.
A Sparrow Hospital spokesman said the facility has 45 COVID-positive patients, which is much higher than at this time last year when the hospital had nine.
Ingham County still needs more than 20,000 people to get vaccinated before we reach a 70 percent vaccination rate. Despite the discouraging COVID numbers, Vail says vaccines are helping.
“You can look at those graphs and you can see that, despite a spike in cases, we're not reaching the kind of high levels of increases in cases that we've seen before. We're also not seeing the hospitalizations and deaths that we've seen before," she said. "So it is certain the vaccines are effective and helping with what's going on.”
It's a similar situation in the rest of mid-Michigan.
"We are a little bit concerned our case numbers have been going up, we're looking over the last seven days and they have been going up and that's concerning to us," said Liz Braddock, chief health officer for the mid-Michigan District Health Department.
In fact, she says, even with the vaccine, we're seeing higher COVID numbers this year than last.
"The numbers in August 2020 were steady and then they started going up and hit a peak in November 2020 our current August numbers are higher than our August 2020 numbers but we are encouraged in hoping that the vaccine will prevent any further surge this coming year," Braddock said.
Health officials continue to encourage residents to get vaccinated, wear their masks, and wash their hands frequently.
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