COVID-19 doctor on fall season: 'If things continue on this trend, it's actually pretty alarming'

Posted at 7:21 PM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 19:33:41-04

FARMINGTON (WXYZ) — "It will never be over. I don't think we're ever going to be done with this," said Lisa Garfinkle about COVID-19 and the transmission of the virus that has the CDC categorizing it at "substantial" in Michigan.

The elevated category of just how much the virus is spreading in Michigan comes as no surprise to Dr. Joneigh Khaldun of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

MAP: Search COVID-19 Variants of Concern by county across Michigan

"We've been watching trends every week, of course, throughout this pandemic, when it comes to our case rates," Dr. Khaldun told 7 Action News Thursday. "And based on what we've been seeing for the past several weeks, as far as increases in cases, increases in our percent of tests that are coming back positive, and increases in our hospitals' census, we did expect Michigan to be at this point. And we are now here."

Dr. Justin Skrzynski, who runs a COVID-19 unit at Beaumont Royal Oak, said most of the patients they're treating have not been vaccinated against the disease.

"If things continue on this trend, it's actually pretty alarming. We're really not too optimistic about how things are gonna look in the fall unless a couple things change," Dr. Skrzynski said. "The key thing is vaccines."

"Last year, we saw a fall surge. We're concerned that we're going to see that again this year," he said. "With the Delta variant, we know this is a more contagious variant. Even people who are vaccinated, we're concerned now that they can transmit. The way that you can prevent yourself from getting sick and ending up in the hospital is to be vaccinated."

Skrzynski said there's still time for people to get fully vaccinated and reach peak protection before we hit the fall season and colder months where people will be spending more time indoors.