KENT COUNTY, Mich. — It's news that nobody in West Michigan wants to hear—our COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates have been climbing. Thankfully, our mortality rate continues to decline, and of course, people are quickly being vaccinated throughout the state.
“Michigan is one of several states across the U.S. that have recently begun to see increases,” an official with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said in a press conference Wednesday morning.
They announced our statewide positivity rate had increased to 5.1%—saying we are seeing these numbers either rise or plateau in most parts of the state.
“We're seeing increases or plateauing case rates among most age groups, race, and ethnic groups,” they said Wednesday.
They also announced that nearly 25 percent of our state's population over the age of 16 have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
“We are kind of in the homestretch, you know. I think these next eight weeks are really going to be critical,” said Dr. Nirali Bora, medical director at the Kent County Health Department.
She says we are seeing similar trends with our COVID numbers here in Kent County.
“It is much more pronounced in the southeast part of the state, but we are also seeing that here. And we are hearing that from my health system partners, that they are seeing slight increases in their hospitalizations as well.”
Because we are quickly moving forward with community vaccination though, these upticks shouldn't be anything to worry about, as long as we're keeping up with precautions.
“People know what they need to do to keep themselves safe and those around them safe, and it's hard, and we understand that, but we appreciate all that they've done for this whole past year,” Dr. Bora said.
“We can see the light coming. It's close, and we all are going to get there together.”