Livingston, Washtenaw Counties see spike in COVID-19 cases among teens

The epicenter for COVID-19 in Michigan has been Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties but now, neighboring counties of Livingston and Washtenaw say they're seeing an increase in cases among younger people.

Dr. Juan Louis Marquis is the medical director for both counties and says that a couple of weeks ago, cases in teens between 14 and 18 jumped in Livingston County, especially at Hartland High School.

"Extracurricular activities, these graduation parties, high school parties, these hangouts...where someone gets sick, then exposures a large group of people in this age group," Dr. Marquez said. 

This fall, Hartland High is going fully virtual this school year because, as Dr. Marquez explains, if someone is positive, the whole house should stay home.

But all is not doom and gloom. 

"That cluster is starting to resolve and we're seeing a downward trend in both the positivity rate and in incidence both in general in the county but in that particular age group,"

Dr. Marquez said the reason numbers go down, interestingly, is because people are talking about and reporting incidents of COVID-19 to the health department.

"This is not a punitive process. Our goal is not to hurt anyone or to get anyone in trouble. Our goal is that we identify people who might have been exposed and make sure they stay safe and keep everyone around them safe," he said. "You're not going to get in trouble, you're not going to get  a ticket, you're not gonna get other people in trouble, you're just saving lives."

Dr. Marquez said if you test positive, you should quarantine for two weeks and, just as important, tell the health department.