Positive COVID-19 cases are still on the rise in Ingham County after being labeled an area of substantial transmission by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, last week.
Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said during the county health briefing that there were 234 new COVID-19 cases in Ingham County from Aug. 3 to Aug. 9. There were no confirmed deaths over that time.
Vail said that the uptick in cases has been caused by a number of factors such as nonexistent mitigation efforts that have led to a spread of the Delta variant in the area.
“I think the biggest thing is we're seeing this surge in cases which I think people didn't expect to see,” Vail said. "They thought we are at the end, the light at the end of the tunnel, and that the idea of hospitals being full, children being in the hospital, children being seriously ill. Being advised to wear masks again, all of us, really because this is happening so rampantly amongst our unvaccinated that we're even having to have vaccinated folks wear masks again.”
The vaccination rate for Ingham County is now at 61%, a single percent higher than last week. Vail said that the vaccine mandate at Michigan State will not affect county vaccination numbers unless students list their permanent address in East Lansing.
“If they do not have a permanent residence in Ingham County, including outside of the state of Michigan or inside the state of Michigan, that vaccination record isn't going to show there,” Vail said.
Vail said she expects vaccination efforts to be accurate despite many students not showing up in the COVID-19 database because their permanent residence is not in East Lansing because of the university’s vaccination requirement.
Michigan State students, staff and faculty are required to have at least the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before arriving on campus for the fall semester.
“I believe with students— freshmen and sophomores living on campus— they anticipate that their housing capacity is about 16,000. So a good number of those 16,000 should be one dose or more vaccinated, hopefully, by the time they arrive at the end of August,” Vail said. “That is what the university is asking of them at this point in time.”
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