Michigan health experts worry as COVID-19 cases climb with delta variant

Posted at 5:30 AM, Aug 03, 2021

(WXYZ) — The United States has finally reached a goal set by President Joe Biden to get 70% of adults with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. However, it's coming in the midst of a surge of cases nationwide.

Right now, 47 states, including Michigan, are categorized as "high or substantial" community transmission. Five states are in such bad shape, they accounted for nearly half the new cases across the country last week.

Dr. Teena Chopra, a professor of infectious diseases at Wayne State University, said the delta variant of COVID-19 is spreading fast, and the viral load is 1,000 times that of the original virus.

"We need to keep moving forward and we need to move forward with our vaccinations rates faster than before because we don't want to give this virus a chance to win," Chopra said.

As of Monday, 33 of Michigan's 83 counties – including Oakland, Macomb and Livingston – are considered to have substantial or high transmission rates. In these areas, the CDC advises both the vaccination and unvaccinated wear masks.

Late last week, just 10 rural counties fit the CDC's criteria.

Michigan health officials are worried that if the virus keeps replicating, the next variant might escape vaccination.

Beaumont Health System currently has 64 COVID-19 patients admitted – 3 of whom are vaccinated. That's .06% of patients having breakthrough cases.

"It's a known fact that vaccinations are the only way out of his pandemic and when we have that tool in our tool box the community has to get vaccinated and help each other through those tough times," Chopra said.

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