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Jackson officials concerned about high COVID transmission rates

Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 8:55 PM EDT
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JACKSON, Mich. (WILX) - If there’s a COVID-19 hotspot in mid-Michigan right now, it’s Jackson County. The state says it’s at the highest risk level for transmission.

Walking down the streets the repercussions are highly visible, with signs on storefronts telling customers they have to mask up to enter. Dr. Courtland Keteyian works for Henry Ford Allegiance Health.

“The growth is exponential right now and unless we can increase vaccination rates, we’re clearly going to have another surge that happens,” Keteyian said. “And it’s happening right now.”

On the MI Safe Start map, COVID-19 transmission rates are tracked across the state. Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties are at a substantial risk for COVID-19 transmission, while Jackson County is at the highest risk.

Dr. Keteyian says there are a myriad of reasons why.

“The Delta variant is much easier to transmit the any other variant we’ve seen so far,” Keteyian said. “The other is our vaccination rates are still low.”

Right now, masks are only required in city facilities. Mayor Derek Dobies told News 10 the administration isn’t considering another city wide mask mandate for now.

Dobies said, “We’re going to continue to see businesses take a look at that on their own and see what they can do with their employees and staff and customers. I don’t think right now we’re considering any of that stuff at City Hall.”

The Jackson County Fair is going on right now. Health officials are concerned about the number of COVID-19 cases that arise from festivals and concerts.

One of the bands set to play at the Jackson County Fair, Lynard Skynard, canceled after a band member tested positive for COVID-19.

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