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Rep. Upton holds teletown hall on Coronavirus and older Michiganders

Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 6:36 PM EDT
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BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. (WNDU) -Michigan U.S Rep. Fred Upton held a teletown hall focused on the coronavirus and older Michiganders on Friday.

Upton was joined by Berrien County Health Officer Nicki Britten and COO of Region IV Area Agency on Aging Christine Vanlandingham.

In Michigan, about one-third of cases are people 60 years and older, but people over the age of 60 make up 87% of coronavirus deaths.

With those numbers, officials are urging everyone, especially young people to wear a mask to protect the most vulnerable.

“Older adults are more likely to be wearing the masks than younger individuals,” Vanlandingham said. “The messaging that we’re trying to get out to folks is: for folks who aren’t afraid of getting COVID-19 themselves, you’re doing your parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles a large favor if you wear a mask, if you would be the one to put the mask on to support and protect the older adults and the more vulnerable among us.”

Governor Whitmer has said that wearing a mask can reduce the spread of the coronavirus by 70%.

Another big topic was delayed test results.

Recently, people have been waiting 7-10 days for their coronavirus test results to come back.

This has people wondering why it’s taking so long for results if there’s more places to get test?

“There has really just been an increase demand for testing,” Britten said. “Truly what happens in other parts of the country, impacts all of us. So as there’s been a surge in cases in some southern parts of the country, there has been some surges in testing going on that taxes the overall lab capacity. States often will send samples to other out of lab states and that sort of backs up the whole system when the demand really outstrips the capacity.”

Britten says there’s nothing specifically that the Berrien County Health Department can do to speed up test results saying it needs to improve nationwide.

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