Thursday, February 2, 2023

Ingham County cases trending downward, concern over St. Patrick's Day celebrations

March 10, 2021
<p>After a spike in cases among students in East Lansing, MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. urged students, faculty and staff to sign up for a COVID-19 early detection program called Spartan Spit. Elements of the Spartan Spit kit photographed above on Sept. 14, 2020.</p>

After a spike in cases among students in East Lansing, MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. urged students, faculty and staff to sign up for a COVID-19 early detection program called Spartan Spit. Elements of the Spartan Spit kit photographed above on Sept. 14, 2020.

Cases trending downward

Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said that COVID-19 cases continue on a downward trend during a media briefing March 9.

  • 52% of cases are female and 48% are male, with deaths at 54.7% for males and 45.3% for females.
  • There has been one COVID-19 related death in March.
  • The highest number of cumulative deaths are in the zip code 48823.
  • Most of the cases, 30%, are people ranging between age 20-29.
  • 61% of cases are white and 74.6% of deaths are white. 13% of cases are African American and 18.5% of deaths are African American. This means there is a lower rate of deaths between cases.

Cases related to Michigan State University have been decreasing since February.

Despite this downward trend in cases in the county, Vail said she is still concerned about and preparing for St. Patrick's Day.

The East Lansing City Council passed an order Tuesday prohibiting lines for entry into bars, restaurants and other businesses in the City’s Downtown Development Authority district to combat the expected crowds on St. Patrick’s Day. 

Vail also issued an emergency order that went into effect March restricting outdoor gatherings to a maximum of 15 people in some parts of East Lansing. The order replaced an October emergency order that restricted outdoor gatherings to 10 people.

Vaccine distribution

There are three vaccines in the U.S including the Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Vail said Ingham County is following behind in vaccine administration with 85% of total vaccines administered.

There are 5,523 scheduled vaccination appointments this week. With 4,710 more doses arriving this week, Ingham county has a total of 57,094 vaccine doses.

Vail clarified that the county is behind in vaccination distribution because there was a very substantial shipment of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Consequently, there has been a lack of planning on how to distribute the vaccine to clinics.

Not included in those amounts is a vulnerable population allocation the county applied for of 2,500 Moderna vaccine doses. Vail said Ingham County was one of 22 sites that received the allocation.

The allocation is specifically targeted towards high Social Vulnerability Index Census tracts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Social Vulnerability Index, "shows relative vulnerability of every U.S. Census tract on 14 social factors including poverty, lack of vehicle access, and crowded housing."

49,534 Ingham County residents have received at least their first dose of the vaccine. However, the main concern is for people 50 & over with underlying conditions. 96% of deaths are from people 50 and over which Vail said is the reason why there is a change in vaccine priority guidance.

As of March 8, Michigan residents 50 to 64 with disabilities/pre-existing conditions are eligible for vaccination. Starting March 22, all other 50 to 64 year-olds not previously eligible will be.

28,288, or roughly 71%, of all Ingham County residents 65 and older have had at least one dose of the vaccine.

The Ingham County Health Department plans to administer 42,421 more vaccines.

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