COVID-19 cases in Michigan expected to peak in early May, MDHHS says

U-M researchers working on COVID-19 tracking app
Posted at 8:54 PM, Apr 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-25 20:54:00-04

(WXYZ) — New COVID-19 cases across Michigan are on the rise due to omicron’s highly contagious BA.2 subvariant.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says Southeast Michigan in particular is seeing more cases.

But Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, the state's chief medical executive, says the next surge will be different and the peak is expected to hit early May.

"What we are expecting is an increase in cases but a more of a slow and steady increase in cases, not that massive upswing with what we saw in previous surges. We are also not expecting to see a significant increase in hospitalizations or deaths," Bagdasarian said.

Data shows that the current seven-day average of new daily cases is 1,496, while the week before the average was 1,104. Bagdasarian says for now, Southeast Michigan is seeing most of the uptick.

"Just because of travel and population density, we often see these types of trends begin in Southeast Michigan," Bagdasarian said.

Two years into the pandemic, Bagdasarian says folks need to have a COVID-19 plan. For instance, keep home COVID-19 test kits handy. Carry a high-quality mask and consider wearing it in busy places.

"COVID-19 is not going anywhere. It's not too late to get vaccinated. Vaccines are still free. They are incredibly safe and effective," Bagdasarian said.

Meanwhile, Professor Daniel Forger and his team at the University at Michigan have developed an app that can detect COVID-19 symptoms when paired with a fitness tracker.

"So from this one signal of heart rate, we can see that COVID affects how your lungs work, COVID will affect your biological clock. COVID will affect stress," Forger said.

Forger says mobile health is the future if we want to stay ahead of future pandemics or detect other diseases.

"Having access to a device that costs less than $100 can tell them about their health with our algorithms," Forger said.

The system is expected to launch in a year, but Forger thinks even though it won't be a replacement for a COVID19 test, it will have its advantages.

"What it can tell you that a PCR test can’t is how sick your body is becoming," Forger said.