Wednesday, October 27, 2021

ICHD announces recommendations following a rise in COVID-19 cases

July 29, 2021
<p>People walk around the checkout aisles at Meijer on March 12, 2020, after MSU canceled classes due to coronavirus.</p>

People walk around the checkout aisles at Meijer on March 12, 2020, after MSU canceled classes due to coronavirus.

Photo by Matt Schmucker | The State News

As the vaccine rollout slowly has begun to decline, the country is beginning to see a slight increase in COVID-19 cases. In a recent Ingham County Health Department, or ICHD, media briefing Tuesday, Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail explained that Ingham County is seeing a similar trend of cases coming up again as well. 

Currently, Ingham County has 188 active cases, with roughly 25 new cases per million people. On June 19th, there were on average 5 cases per million people. That's roughly a 500% increase from June 19 to July 19.

“Those are still very low numbers compared to where we been, but we are seeing across the nation, across the state, an increase in cases,” Vail said.

There are 145,997 Ingham County residents the age of 16 and up that have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Roughly 96% of individuals in Ingham County over the age of 65, or 37,876 seniors have received their vaccine. 

“We’re 86.3% of our way to 70% with about 23,000 left to vaccinate to get to that 70%,” Vail said.

Although 60.5% of Ingham County residents ages 16 and up have been vaccinated, Vail also mentioned “breakthrough cases,” or when an individual has received a positive COVID-19 test result at least two weeks after the final dose of any COVID-19 vaccine.

“They’re (breakthrough cases) rare,” Vail said. “But it's going to happen, and it happens with practically any vaccine. … But, we aren’t seeing hospitalizations and deaths, and it’s just important to know that the vaccine, despite any efficacy changes that might be seen regarding the variant in terms of illness, is still very effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths.”

Vail also emphasized that even if an individual does get infected, the likelihood of transmitting COVID-19 is very low and may not have symptoms at all.

For now, Vail said that Ingham County will be following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations that fully vaccinated individuals may participate in most activities that they did before the pandemic. It is recommended that they should also wear a mask if in an area of high transmission to protect from the Delta variant and where they are required by law.

Because most children and some individuals are medically unable to be vaccinated, Vail said everyone should reconsider their actions to bring the pandemic to an end.

“It's kind of important in certain settings that you might consider masking up anyways,” Vail said. “Crowded indoor settings, those sorts of things, are probably places where it would be wise to mask up.”

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