Michigan signals the outbreak of pandemic B.1.1.7 in the United States

Michigan is at the top of the spear when it comes to the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 5, 2021, the number of new COVID-19 cases in Michigan reached 11,317, the highest number since November 27, 2020, during the winter rush.

Car workers leave the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Warren truck factory in Warren, Michigan [Credit: AP Photo/Paul Sancya]

The seven-day moving average is 6,431 cases of COVID-19 per day, which is almost six times higher than the lowest levels in mid-February. The test positive rate climbed to 17 percent, meaning that 17 out of every 100 tests on COVID-19 confirmed a new infection, compared to a low of 3.1 percent more than a month ago.

Based on genetic testing, health officials estimated that 70 percent of new cases in Michigan were caused by variant B.1.1.7, also known as the British variant, which devastated the southeast of England last December and has since crossed the Atlantic and become the dominant variant. Florida and much of the Northeast and Midwest.

The sudden wave is so obviously dangerous that even the Waffle Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Rochelle Walensky has suggested that Michigan should adopt stronger restrictions to stop the tide of new infections. During Wednesday’s briefing, she said, “I would advocate for some kind of stronger mitigation strategies, as you know, to somehow reduce community activity, ensure the wearing of masks, and we work closely with the state to try and work on that. . “

Given that hospitalization in the state is rapidly rising along with the increase in cases, far more urgent measures are needed. Walensky’s statement, a mere suggestion, contradicts the public health emergency requirements initiated by the new variant B.1.1.7. What is happening in Michigan represents a new pandemic in the US, with a more transmissible and deadly strain of coronavirus.

State hospitalizations have risen 360 percent since Feb. 28, and the capacity of several ICUs in the region has reached its limit. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), the age group with the highest growth rates in hospitalization were people aged 50 to 59, with a growth of 653 percent.

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