Michigan's Covid cases climbing but vaccinations keep deaths low

Michigan's COVID-19 cases have iincreased by more than 50% in the past week, from 2,700 cases per day last Wednesday to almost 4,000 this week, but health experts fear these numbers may actually not even be close to the number of positive cases.

At Beaumont, the health system is treating 191 COVID-19 cases, up from 72 at this time in April but still far from the peak of 851 in January.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Chief Medical Executive Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian explains that the pandemic isn't over and everyone needs to remain on guard.

"I’m hoping people understand even if they’re tired of the virus. The virus is not done with us yet," Bagdasarian said. "It’s more about the BA 2 sub-variant. What we are seeing is we have seen more transmissible variant come into our state."

While cases are climbing, Dr. Bagdasarian said hospitalizations are climbing too

"There has been an uptick in hospitalizations but it’s very hard when we look at that hospitalization data to see who has been hospitalized with Covid incidentally and who has been hospitalized for Covid but most importantly we’re not seeing an increase in Covid-related deaths at the moment," she said.

Dr. Bagdasarian credits the vaccine and immunity from the Omicron surge in the winter and says those struggling with long-hauler symptoms really need to pay attention to their bodies.

"Making sure you’re eating a balanced diet getting enough exercise sleep taking care of your general health is really important," she said.

Dr. Bagdasarian said people who test at home do not have to report tests if they are positive but that means the number of positive cases may not be accurate.

"We are well aware we are missing that subsection of people who are testing at home but it means we need to think about the data differently this means our hospitalization data becomes more important, our mortality data becomes more important, and we start relying on things like waste water data,"

The pandemic is in a cycle, Dr. Bagdasarian said, and cases are going up but we're not seeing the negative consequences like we saw in previous surges. She said the state has a plan in place and will adjust as needed.

"Wen we are seeing a surge, it’s all hands on deck we’re calling that response. Right now we are in recovery - so right now we’ve been able to dial back on some of our mitigation strategies and when we do expect another surge in cases will inform the public and move into readiness," she said.

Another surge is expected in the fall or winter and says people should stock up now on at-home tests, masks, get vaccinated, and prepare to live with this virus long-term.