Coronavirus cases in Michigan are expected to rise through May, state health leaders warned Thursday, as transmission of the highly contagious BA.2 omicron subvariant climbs.
The daily average of new confirmed and probable cases in the state has jumped 108% in the last three weeks. The average number of new daily cases was 1,496 in the seven-day period from April 14-20, according to the state health department. Comparatively, on March 30, the seven-day average of new daily cases was 718.
And that’s just for the test results that are reported to the state health department. Many more people are likely testing at home using rapid antigen tests and aren’t reporting the results.
“While we wish we could avoid these types of increases in cases, the good news is we have excellent, effective tools to travel safely and gather with loved ones and prevent severe outcomes from COVID-19,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, the state health department’s chief medical executive, in a statement.
Michigan coronavirus cases: Tracking the pandemic
COVID-19 hospitalizations in Michigan are inching upward as well.
On Wednesday, the state health department reported 461 adults and children were hospitalized with confirmed cases of the virus — up 19% from March 31, when there were 389.
Hospitalizations and death rates from this wave aren’t expected to reach peaks seen during the January omicron surge because of vaccinations, booster shots and immunity from the last spike in cases.
With proms, graduations, and Mother’s Day approaching, Bagdasarian urged people to be aware of the increased rate of transmission to make personal decisions to reduce risk, such as mask wearing, stocking up on at-home tests and considering whether to avoid large indoor gatherings .
“We encourage Michigan residents to make a COVID-19 plan: have masks and over-the-counter tests on hand, speak to your physician ahead of time to find out if you qualify for treatments if you are infected and make sure you are up -to-date on vaccines, she said. “We recommend Michiganders test if they have symptoms or if they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, and stay home if they are ill.”
State health officials recommend coronavirus testing before and after travel as well as in advance of group celebrations and gatherings, especially if family and friends who are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 are attending.
The health department also suggests:
Getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Learn more about vaccines, booster eligibility and whether you’re up to date at Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine.
Learning about treatment options. Consider talking to your doctor about whether you meet eligibility criteria for COVID-19 therapeutic and preventive treatments such as antibody or antiviral medication if you test positive for the virus.
Get tested if you are exposed or have symptoms. If seeking testing because you have symptoms or were potentially exposed to the virus, stay away from others while you wait for the test results. Find a test site at Michigan.gov/COVIDTest.
Isolate and quarantine. If you test positive or if you’re sick or if you were recently exposed to COVID-19, follow the CDC’s isolation and quarantine guidelines: https://bit.ly/3xFOmlq.
Take steps to protect yourself. Understand levels of risk and stay informed about transmission in your community. Practice good hygiene and hand washing. Stay home when you’re sick and stay up to date with vaccinations. Consider wearing a mask when transmission rates rise and avoiding indoor, large public gatherings when case rates are high.
Contact Kristen Shamus: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @kristenshamus.
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