A recent surge in COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks made the Greater Lansing region among the metropolitan areas with the fastest climbing rates of coronavirus cases across the country. And now as a result, health officials are warning local residents to brace for impact.
“We are not through this. Don’t give up now,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail in a Facebook post Sunday. “We need everyone with us for a little while longer as we continue to vaccinate enough people. Michigan is doing poorly. Our numbers are soaring.”
Michigan’s seven-day average of new cases reportedly doubled since March and is resting at its highest point in 2021, with a statewide average positivity rate of about 15% Tuesday. The state ranked second in the nation (behind New Jersey) in new cases per capita this week, with the Thumb region as well as Macomb and Jackson counties with the highest transmission rates in the country, according to reports published in The New York Times over the weekend.
Lansing, which likely includes neighboring East Lansing, was ranked seventh-worst nationwide — prompting Vail to post her cautionary message on Facebook.
“We can do better. We have done better. Don’t give up on me now. We need you in this for just a little while longer,” Vail said. “We’re getting these vaccines out. Help us until we finish.”
Health officials have since pointed to changes in the state’s epidemic orders — including increased restaurant capacity — for the climbing infection rates. Vail’s commentary also corroborates reports that increased hopefulness and pandemic fatigue have contributed.
Chief Medical Executive Joneigh Khaldun told Local 4 this week that she was “very concerned.”
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