Michigan recently returned to an unwanted position as the nation’s COVID-19 hotspot.
With infections on the rise, the state’s health department has issued a mask advisory recommending people to wear masks during indoor gatherings.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDDHS) also is asking businesses to implement their own mask policies. The change in guidance comes as the state reported on Friday nearly 18,000 new COVID cases of the virus over a two-day period, an average of just under 9,000 cases a day. Sadly, another 128 lives were lost.
Health officials are encouraging everyone to receive a booster shot if they are eligible. And now, all fully vaccinated adults in the U.S. are eligible to get their booster dose.
“What I was reading about ... the scientific evidence is that three is better than two,” said Donna Givens-Davidson.
Davidson said that’s why she got her booster shot.
“I anticipated that this was going to be a problem, and I certainly didn’t think that it was going to be as bad as it is,” she said.
And the state’s recent COVID numbers are confirming that.
“As you can see here, our percent positivity is at 16.8% across the state, and this number has been continuing to rise,” said Michigan’s chief medical executive Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian. “In some regions, this is over 20%.”
Leaders with MDHHS said Michigan is heading in the wrong direction, and they’re concerned that the situation could get worse, especially during the holiday season.
“It is critical that, as we gather for holidays, visit with friends, go to work and other places in our communities, that we all take steps to protect ourselves and avoid another surge in the coming weeks,” said MDHHS director Elizabeth Hertel.
That’s why the health department issued an advisory, strongly urging everyone 2 years old and up to wear masks when gathering indoors.
“This face mask advisory takes effect immediately, and remains in effect until further notice,” Hertel said.
Meanwhile, Davidson is one of many residents hoping everyone will follow suit.
“It shouldn’t be a suggestion,” Davidson said. “It should be a requirement. It shouldn’t have to be mandated, it should be something that we accept as truth.”