Heads up! COVID cases in Michigan rising again as subvariant sweeps through south

COVID cases up 34% in the last 3 weeks
Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 6:25 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The numbers themselves seem stark. Almost 17,000 new COVID cases were reported in Michigan in just the last week. That’s a 34% increase from Mid-June.

July 12, 2022: Michigan reports 16,681 new cases, 160 deaths over past 7 days

Those are just the the cases reported to the state. We don’t know how many people test themselves at home without telling the health department.

Experts said it’s not quite at surge level, but we are in an “elevated plateau.” That’s because cases had been coming down in the last few weeks but they’re not coming down anymore.

As the new B.A 5 subvariant of Omicron sweeps through southern states, Michigan has faired pretty well so far.

Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Michigan’s Chief Medical Executive, said there’s a number of things that could explain the uptick.

“In southern states, where its getting really hot outside and people are meeting indoors to socialize, that could be driving some of this transmission,” Bagdasarian said.

It’s been hot here too, and we just had a holiday.

“We know that B.A 5 has really been growing in proportion in many of our neighboring states as well as in our region,” Bagdasarian said. “We’ll have to see what that looks like in Michigan in the upcoming weeks.”

Last summer, when numbers went up in the south it took a few weeks for Michigan to catch up. This time around, doctors said it’s too early to tell what will happen.

As of July 13, Sparrow Health System only has 13 COVID patients. Dr. Paul Entler, with Sparrow, said coronavirus is much more manageable now.

The B.A 5 variant has shown some resistance to immunity. However, vaccinations are still the best way to protect yourself,” Entler said. “The good news is we’re in a different position than where we were even six months ago. You can think back a year when we were just trying to get the vaccines out there. If you haven’t been vaccinated -- strongly consider getting vaccinated. It’s not too late.”

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