COVID numbers are trending in the right direction ahead of Bank Holiday weekend | health care


GRAND RAPIDS — COVID-19 numbers are trending in the right direction across Michigan. After a six-week surge, hospitalizations and case counts have declined slightly in Wolverine State this week.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday reported 25,968 cases and 139 deaths from COVID-19, including totals for the past six days.

With more than 1.1 million Michiganders expected to travel for the holiday weekend, health officials and doctors alike are reminding people to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves from COVID.

dr Beaumont Health’s Justin Skrzynski said the best way to do this is to be outside.

Skrzynski said the summer months typically see the lowest COVID numbers because it’s difficult to spread the virus outdoors, especially when few people gather.

Skrzynski warned that if you’re in the high-risk group, you might want to take a few extra precautions. Still, he said enjoy the bank holiday weekend, just be smart about it.

“So of course we can never say it’s not a risk. But at the same time, compared to a bar, restaurant or a crowded indoor area, it’s much safer to be outdoors,” he said. “Now if you’re still in the high-risk groups, so the elderly, the chronically ill, the immunocompromised, those people should still be more aware of who’s going to be there. Even things like masking up outdoors might be a good idea if you’re in this high-risk group. And of course vaccinations are always a very, very reassuring thing when you go to crowds.

Skrzynski said we are in the so-called endemic phase, which means COVID is circulating person-to-person throughout the community. He said the real concern is in the fall when everyone is back inside. Will the numbers shoot up again? He said only time will tell.

Skrzynski reiterated that proper hygiene and a full vaccination and booster are the best ways to ensure you are safe. He explains exactly what it means to be fully vaccinated and refreshed.

“It’s a bit complicated in terms of vaccinations and boosters and what’s fully vaccinated and what’s up to date,” he explained. “And the bottom line is, of course, getting the first series. That’s the most important part. The refresher is due five months later.”

Skrzynski added: “Regarding this fourth shot, the indication is currently 50 and over and immunocompromised. I expect later on, especially if the numbers stay high over the summer, we’ll see that first shot open to everyone. But right now, again, it’s this particular age group that seems to be the most vulnerable.

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