Michigan COVID cases on the rise, national hotspot

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 6:42 PM EDT
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BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. (WNDU) - The state of Michigan continues to be a hotspot for the coronavirus as the number of cases and hospitalizations trend upward.

The Berrien County Health Officer says that while they are seeing an increase in cases in the county, it’s not to the same degree as what is being seen in other parts of the state.

According to the state of Michigan’s website, the number of daily COVID-19 cases is trending upward in the state. While numbers are not as high as they were back in the fall, local health officials say this is still a trend they are not happy to see.

“Our goal is to make sure we don’t repeat what happened in November. We don’t want to start looking like some of the other communities in our state that their healthcare systems are getting overwhelmed,” BCHD Health Officer Nicki Britten said.

As of April 6, when looking at daily cases from the past week, the Mayo Clinic’s website shows eastern counties in Michigan having some of the highest numbers.

Britten says it’s difficult to pinpoint one reason for Michigan’s rise in cases, but the UK variant could be a factor.

“It’s more infectious, so it spreads more readily between people. That could be something that’s driving up some case numbers. It could be that this was just our time for it to happen since we’re not seeing a similar increase in other states just yet. It’s really hard to predict what that is,” Britten said.

While the cause is difficult to nail down, Britten says she is confident that vaccination efforts across the state are helping fight this virus.

“Our vaccination rate, specifically in Southwest Michigan and Berrien County is great, but also across the state we’re also doing a fantastic job. Over a third of adults eligible for vaccination have received at least one dose,” Britten said.

When it comes to a change in restrictions, Britten says she doesn’t foresee the need if people in Michigan remain diligent about following what is already in place.

“Let’s band together a little bit longer. We’ve been in this fight for so long. We don’t want to prolong it anymore now that we are getting towards the end,” Britten said.

Make sure to stick with us here on 16 News Now as we continue to follow how the coronavirus is affecting us here in Michiana.

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