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Doctors concerned about 'rough fall' as COVID-19 cases increase in Michigan

Posted at 6:39 PM, Aug 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-05 18:39:17-04

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ)  — If you take a look at the data, there are some concerning trends in Michigan right now when it comes to COVID-19. According to the state as of Wednesday - in the previous seven days we saw 20,173 confirmed and probable cases, an increase over last week.

Infectious Diseases Lead for COVID-19 Response at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System Dr. Anurag Malani warns those numbers don’t tell the whole picture because of home testing.

“Some of those home tests are never reported. So if you look at estimates, sometimes people have estimated the number of cases 5 to 6 times high than the number of reported cases,” said Dr. Malani.

With the data we have, the CDC says Wayne, Oakland, Monroe, Macomb, and Washtenaw County are all seeing high COVID community levels and is recommending masking in indoor public spaces. Henry Ford Health System Medical Director of Infection Prevention Dr. Dennis Cunningham observes most people are not doing that.

“People are just kind of giving up and don’t want to fight COVID so much and I think that could mean a rough fall,” said Dr. Cunningham.

Dr. Cunningham and Dr. Malani say while vaccinations are preventing many hospitalizations, it is quite possible that we could see a surge in cases as schools and colleges open.

“There are less people that are going to be hospitalized, but there is a real possibility of significant disruption,” said Dr. Malani.

“But our behavior does impact this a lot,” said Dr. Cunningham.

Both doctors say we shouldn’t cancel plans, but rather should find ways to make safer plans.

“If you are outdoors it doesn’t matter a lot, but if you are indoors with family and friends I would want them vaccinated personally,” said Dr. Cunningham.

“Especially in an indoor large gathering, those are the times you want to think about masking,” said Dr. Malani.

“Get your vaccine if you haven’t. If you are eligible for a booster I certainly would get it. I think those are good ways to get these things under control and if you are sick don’t go to school or work. You are better off staying home rather than infecting everybody,” said Dr. Cunningham.

Doctors say their message is that we are in a new era in that many people have some immunity from previous infection or vaccination and there are antiviral treatments, but we are still in a pandemic worth paying attention to as we make decisions.