(WXYZ) — The state of Michigan is at a "pivotal moment" when it comes to COVID-19 cases, Michigan's chief medical executive said Friday.
During a press conference, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun was updating COVID-19 statistics in the state, and said that the declines we were seeing before the holidays are changing.
As of Thursday, the state had 512,751 cases of COVID-19 and 13,094 deaths from the virus.
Khaldun said Michigan is at 22 cases per million people per day, which is an increase of 8 cases per million people per day in the last week. We're also at a 9.3% positivity rate, which is up in the last week. It was 8.2% on Dec. 27.
12.8% on in-patient beds are filled with COVID-19 patients, and that number does continue to trend downward.
"Metrics overall tells me we are at a pivotal moment. Declines we were seeing prior to the holidays, and I'm concerned it's a matter of time until we see a new variant of this virus in Michigan that originated in the UK and caused a dangerous increase in cases there."
According to Khaldun, she believes gatherings and travel could be playing a role in the increase in cases, but said even if you traveled for the holidays, you can quarantine for 10 days so you don't spread the virus to others.
"It’s not too late, there’s still time for people to do their part," Khaldun said.
Late last year, the new variant emerged in the U.K. that seems to spread more easily and quickly, according to the CDC. There is no evidence it causes more severe illness or increased risk of death.
As of Friday afternoon, the variant has shown up in five states: California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia and New York, with a total of 52 cases.
Research this week suggested that Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine can protect against the mutation found in two different variants of the virus that erupted in Britain and then South Africa.
New research suggests that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine can protect against a mutation found in the variant first discovered in Britain.