45 cases of new COVID-19 variant identified across 10 counties in Michigan

COVID-19 Outbreak Seattle Hospitals
Posted at 2:11 PM, Feb 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 15:41:52-05

(WXYZ) — COVID-19 case rates in Michigan have steadily declined, Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said during a press conference Tuesday.

Cases are down 81% from their peak in mid-November. The test positivity rate is 4.5%. Only 6% of hospital beds are being used to treat COVID-19 patients, officials say.

However, Dr. Khaldun said that while numbers are continuing to trend in the right direction, officials are very concerned with the COVID-19 variant.

As of Tuesday, 45 cases of the variant were identified in Michigan across 10 counties.

"And there will be more," Dr. Khaldun said. She said the variant is likely in the general community and is more easily spread from person to person.

Both Dr. Khaldun and Governor Gretchen Whitmer stressed the importance of masking, social distancing and washing hands to protect against the new variant.

While the state has identified outbreaks associated with the COVID-19 variant, officials are doing aggressive testing and contact tracing.

Dr. Khaldun also said that 11% of Michiganders age 16 and up have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, there is a 16% increase in the amount of vaccine coming into the state.

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