If behavior doesn't change, Michigan could be in for a 'rough winter' with COVID-19, doc says

Posted at 10:50 AM, Nov 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-19 10:51:07-05

(WXYZ) — If Michiganders do not change their behavior and COVID-19 cases continue to rise, we could be in for a "rough winter," according to MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian.

Related: State issues public health advisory encouraging everyone 2 & up to wear masks indoors

Speaking during a press conference Friday afternoon, Bagdasarian outlined COVID-19 metrics in the state, shortly after the department issued a public health advisory recommending everyone ages 2 and up wear masks at indoor gatherings, regardless of vaccination status.

As of Friday, Michigan has a 16.8% positivity rate, which is higher than 20% in the Grand Rapids, Saginaw and Jackson areas.

There are over 489.5 daily cases per million people, according to the state, and all regions at an elevated incidence growth.

Hospitalizations are also increasing, and over 15% of hospital beds in the state are being used to care for COVID-19 patients.

"If we can change behavior and get people to start masking and increase the vaccination rates, we have hope of this ending soon," Bagdasarian said. "If behavior doesn’t change, I think we’re in for a very rough winter season."

Bagdasarian said case rates are at a similar trend to where they were this time last year, which is "concerning."