LANSING, Mich. – The number of positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Michigan has started trending upward as temperatures have been dropping.
This has prompted a call from public health officials to increase vigilance and preventative measures. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), hospitals and local health officials are asking everyone to take steps to prevent a surge in COVID-19.
“Michiganders did a great job of bringing our cases down after a surge in the spring,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “Basic things like wearing masks, maintaining a physical distance from others and washing hands worked. Yet as the colder months and flu season have arrived, we now see a concerning jump in our cases – a trend we can reverse if we all take this seriously and follow best practices to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
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People tend to gather indoors more frequently due to cooler weather, which creates a risk of greater community spread. MDHHS has issued additional Emergency Orders to clarify gathering definitions, capacity restrictions, mask requirements and worker protections.
“State and local public health officials have been concerned about the risk of a surge in cases in the fall, and this recent increase should remind us all to refocus on preventing the spread of COVID-19,” said Nick Derusha, president of the Michigan Association for Local Public Health. “Wearing masks, practicing social distancing, washing our hands, and participating in contact tracing with public health officials are proven, effective ways to slow the spread of this virus.”
Officials said more tests are coming back positive and more residents are being hospitalized compared to previous weeks.
“At the height of the COVID-19 response in Michigan, our frontline hospital workers were working around the clock to treat COVID-19 patients. As we see cases on the rise again and more hospital beds with patients than we have in weeks, we must remember what mask wearing and social distancing does: it prevents cases, it prevents hospitalizations, and it prevents deaths,” said Brian Peters, chief executive officer of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association.