Examining Washtenaw County's new stance on COVID-19 and masks

Posted at 6:26 PM, Aug 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-04 19:21:37-04

(WXYZ) — Health leaders in Washtenaw County say transmission of COVID-19 is increasing and nearing substantial levels.

Because of this, the county is now strongly recommending masking for everyone in indoor, public spaces.

Washtenaw County spokesperson Susan Ringler Cerniglia is joining us to talk about it in the 7 UpFront segment.

You can see the full interview in the video player above.

"To be clear, this is not necessarily unique to Washtenaw. Unfortunately, we're seeing increasing trends in a lot of areas across Michigan and, of course, in other states and countries as well but particularly for Washtenaw we've been seeing our cases increase pretty steadily over the last couple of weeks and we're now at about 30 cases per day or so being reported," Ringler Cerniglia says. "Now that's nowhere near the levels that we had at the height of some of our waves of illness with COVID, but it certainly is concerning as we're seeing the trend over weeks. The other difference is folks have probably seen last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, recommended or areas with what they call substantial or high transmission, recommending mask use indoors for people, whether they're vaccinated or not. Now an important reminder is those masks are one of our tools, one of our layering tools for slowing and preventing the spread of illness, and when they're used, particularly indoors, we can have an impact on the overall spread of illness. So, in Washtenaw earlier today when we put out this advisory we were still in the moderate level according to the CDC tracker. However, we have now moved into that substantial category, as we suspected. So we really wanted folks in our community to understand where we were, in terms of cases, what we're seeing, and what our prevention recommendations are, as we see those cases reach this next level.