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.
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.
Those between 40 and 49 years of age recorded an increase of 503 percent. Although the actual numbers are small, those between the ages of 18 and 29 grew by 400 percent. Only pediatric cases and those older than 70 years had a relatively small increase in hospital admissions. In the case of the elderly, this is attributed to the vaccination campaign.
The first variant of B.1.1.7 in Michigan was discovered on January 16, 2021. By February 28, the number of cases found in genetic tests – a small sample of the total – had reached 336. This number rose to 1,277 on April 1 and jumped to 1,998 by April 7, which makes up 70 percent of all cases subjected to genetic testing.
These trends are a by-product of the reopening of schools and the lifting of all significant restrictions in the state. State data records that on March 22, there were 65 school-related epidemics. A week later, they identified 70, and then, on April 5, 84 school-related epidemics. However, state officials say the attacks are linked to sports activities, and the spring holidays are traveling, rather than acknowledging that reopening and closing schools is a major contribution to the development. Governor Gretchen Whitmer continues to support the view that restrictions are no longer the answer, and the only solution is vaccination.
In yesterday’s virtual media report (civil servants and journalists will be safer than school children and teachers forced back into classrooms), Governor Whitmer tried to turn the horrific numbers positively. She claimed that now the numbers are growing so fast, because many people in the state were not infected before, due to the previous strong efforts of the state in mitigation.
Whitmer argued that states like Florida, which previously had a high infection rate, do not see an explosion as a result now. This rigmarola explodes with the fact that the cases in Florida have increased by 23 percent since March 20, and the cases per million are even higher than the cases in Michigan, even though the mortality rate is lower. It is true that no American state, be it Republican Florida or Michigan, which is run by Democrats, has a record of success in public health. They all subordinated the health of their population to the profit interests of corporations.
Dr. Walensky added in a brief report Wednesday, “Based on our most recent estimates from CDC oversight, variant B.1.1.7 is now the most common line circulating in the United States.” Both the number of cases and now hospitalizations are growing, despite current vaccination efforts.
According to the latest data, the recent seven-day average admission to hospitals is around 5,000 a day, an increase of 2.7 percent over last week. A slight increase diminishes the accurate picture. Adults under the age of 50 have sharply increased the number of hospitalizations, while those over the age of 60 either record an increase or continue to decline, albeit more slowly. This is also true for Florida with an increase in cases. Other states showing this pattern include Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Texas, Illinois and Indiana.
Just across the border from Michigan, in Canada, the province of Ontario recorded a 64 percent increase in the number of cases of coronavirus variants. Approximately 90 percent includes the B.1.1.7 variant. Chief Canadian Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, noted that there was a flow of younger patients admitted to the ICU. Those under the age of 60 now make up half of the patients admitted to intensive care units for COVID-19. Speaking to CNN, Dr. Kashif Pirzada, an emergency physician in Toronto, said, “It’s getting pretty alarming here. It expands quickly and is much faster than the last two waves. The people currently filling the ICU are all in their 30s, 40s and 50s. “
Epidemiologists have estimated that it may be necessary to vaccinate 70 to 90 percent of the population or survive a previous infection to achieve true herd immunity. However, these are all guesses. Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiologist at the Har Chan School of Public Health TH Chan, told New York Times, “Tell me which numbers to put in my equations, and I will give you the answer. But you can’t tell me the numbers, because no one knows them. ”
In addition, the growth of variants such as P.1 and B.1.351 will add complexity to this issue as their numbers begin to grow.