COVID numbers in Michigan are declining, an upcoming "endemic" is uncertain

Michigan hospitals are seeing a positive trend in COVID patient numbers after weeks of high infection rates. At times, Michigan was leading the country in COVID cases.

Mask requirements across the nation are being rescinded as infection numbers decline. Doctors are hopeful but uncertain about what's next.

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"Hopefully we are heading into an endemic," said Dr. Matthew Sims, the director of infectious disease research at Beaumont Health. "We've been in this exact spot before where all the numbers came down, and we get hit with another surge."

Dr. Sims credits the infection decline to herd immunity.

"Between infection and vaccination, I think we're getting pretty close to herd immunity. The closer you get to see herd immunity, the more it drops."

Even though COVID numbers are declining, it's uncertain if they'll stay that way.

"I don't think it'll last because we know that these antibodies wane and if we get another variant, that's further away these antibodies may not protect us as much," Dr. Sims said. "For now we have to keep our guard up because we don't know what's around the corner."

Some Michiganders told FOX 2 that they're not going to be letting their guard down just yet.

"I haven't been to church in 2 years… I've been doing it by TV. I’ll feel more hopeful if we’re still seeing this by June."

"Until it comes on the news that no one has died from this, I will be wearing my mask."

Dr. Sims believes that masking and vaccination are key in preventing the spread of COVID and ultimately another surge.

"I think we need to stay cautious. Optimistic but cautious which means I don’t plan to take my mask off anytime soon," said Dr. Sims. "This prevention is much better than sitting in a hospital."