Southeast Michigan leaders ask for more COVID-19 vaccines as infections spike

Over the course of the past few weeks, Michigan's COVID-19 cases have spiked again, with cases similar to what they were in October.

As cases go the wrong direction, county executives of Southeast Michigan and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan met to discuss the need for more COVID-19 vaccines.
The race to get vaccines into arms continues and southeast Michigan County executives and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan came together to update us on the fight against COVID-19

Michigan COVID-19 numbers: Rates similar to October as cases continue to climb

Oakland County executive David Coulter says right now they're seeing a spike in COVID cases, even though more than 25% of eligible residents are vaccinated. 

"We're seeing, unfortunately over the last month or so, a significant increase in infection rates and that's primarily due to the fact that we have these variants in Michigan now they're spreading very quickly. So even though the vaccines are the light at the end of the tunnel, the tunnel that we're in is still very dangerous," Coulter said.

So far, the problem in the county is the same across the nation and world - the supply just simply can't meet the demand. That won't be solved for some time.

Meanwhile, in Wayne County, Executive Warren Evans says they've had a hard time distributing shots. 

"Obviously we'd like to get more vaccines, but we've really worked extremely hard with what we've had in Wayne County. We've probably vaccinated more than 20,000 teachers which is one of the areas you know, we're really concerned about. (It's) what people are concerned about - getting their kids back to school. And obviously, teachers need to be vaccinated for that to happen," said Evans.

Turning towards the economy, the leaders say they're getting significant amounts of money from President Joe Biden's American rescue plan, Duggan says the city of Detroit will receive $880 million to spend over the next four years. 

"The immediate thing it allows us to do his make up for revenue shortfall. So yesterday I announced that we're recalling 750 partially laid-off city employees. We're now going to be able to ramp back up. To full city services, pre-pandemic levels," said Duggan.

Meanwhile, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel says they've also worked closely with local businesses this year. That work continues to ensure customers and employees stay safe. 

"All of them wanted to make sure their patrons were safe the people that were visiting their stores, their employees as well as themselves and again, credit to that man has been a challenge for them, but many of them have been very supportive and wanting to figure how they do it and do it the right way. 

In the end, the four leaders are all stressing that cases are rising and it's too soon to let our guard down.

Two vials of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.