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Michigan's COVID-19 cases of concern, but Whitmer says we're not at square one

The governor says this year, people have tools like the vaccine to fight the virus
Posted at 8:01 PM, Dec 20, 2021

(WXYZ) — COVID-19 infections and deaths continue to surge across Michigan.

The latest numbers show that the amount of new cases is higher compared to this time last year. But even with hospitals at their tipping points and the threat of the new variant omicron looming, public officials haven’t announced any mandates to curb the spread.

In fact, with Detroit nearly having only 37% of people ages 5 and above fully vaccinated, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer doesn't believe we are back to square one because this year, we have vaccines. But the governor is worried about the state’s health system.

"My concern right now is of course the nurses and doctors who have been breaking their back for two years, and they are exhausted and they are stressed and some are leaving the profession. And we can’t afford to let that happen," Whitmer said.

To make matters worse, the governor also acknowledged that during her national COVID-19 meeting, her team was advised that Omicron will be the dominant variant.

"Because it’s just so easy to catch. And as we congregate for the holidays, we are encouraging people to do what we know works, that’s vaccinations, masking up, that’s small gatherings," Whitmer said.

According to the state’s website as of Monday, approximately 63% of Michigan’s population has received the first dose of the COIVD-19 vaccine, resulting in the number of fully vaccinated being even lower.

Detroit native Denzel Turner says there is just way too much misinformation about the vaccine.

"One of the biggest misconceptions is that it doesn’t work, or why get it if it doesn’t work, but it protects from getting worse complications from COVID," Turner said.

Dr. Justin Skrzynski from Beaumont Health says vaccine awareness works better, but it’s following the safety guidelines that creates a greater impact.

"Limits in terms of capacity for restaurants or to have mask mandates for public areas. I think those are more feasible and those would make a difference because that would shut down transmission immediately," Dr. Justin Skrzynski with Beaumont Health System said.