Sparrow Health System has administered more than 20,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to information released Monday. Some local health officers, however, fear vaccination efforts aren’t moving along fast enough.
Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail says the Lansing area is capable of vaccinating more people, they just don’t have the supplies to make it happen.
“Well first of all, we don’t know that we’re going to receive more vaccine. The calls I was on last week, it’s going to be a few weeks before we get a little increase in vaccine,” Vail explained.
COVID case numbers across the state are on a decline after November’s surge in cases and hospitalizations according to Monday’s briefing from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
“Our rate of tests that are coming back positive are also going down. We are holding at about 6.2% so that’s a good sign,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said.
Experts say hospitalizations and deaths will start to trend down to reflect that decline in the coming weeks.
Over the past seven days, there have been 903 new confirmed cases and 20 deaths in Ingham County, 136 new cases and 6 deaths in Clinton County, 219 cases and 12 deaths in Eaton County and 237 new cases and 7 deaths in Jackson County.
A new, potentially more transmissible strain of COVID referred to as the B117 strain has been identified in Washtenaw and Wayne counties. The strain is believed to be the same strain first detected in the United Kingdom.
“We do have variants in this country right now,” Chief Medical Advisor to the President Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a press conference Tuesday.
“The U.K. variant is in several states. It has not become dominant. It might. That’s why you have to watch it carefully as we go from January into February,” Fauci said.
Khaldun and Vail said the new, more infectious variant will likely spread.
“What I would ask people to do is rather than be alarmed, double down on the practices we know already limit transmission. Which is wearing masks, social distancing, and don’t have indoor or outdoor gatherings,” Vail said.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has lifted a few COVID-19 restrictions on indoor dining and non-contact sports here in Michigan which Vail says she’s approaching with a sense of “cautious optimism.”
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