By Annah Johnson
As the country waits for the COVID-19 vaccine approved for emergency usage by the FDA to be distributed, the virus continues to surge across the nation.
Michigan, with over 50,000 current positive cases over the last 14 days, has become a concern among a handful of states where cases have continued to rise.
Since the onset of the virus in early March, Michigan has totaled 426,294 positive cases as of Friday, Dec. 11. The positivity rate for Michigan’s testing of the virus has been rising and falling, but is currently at 11.7%. The current death toll in the state is creeping toward 11,000.
Kent county has added over 300 new positive cases this week. Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids has been seeing a small decline in COVID-19 patient volume over the past two weeks.
The daily average of new positive cases and deaths in the state has dropped slightly from the week prior. Although this is good news, health officials are urging citizens to follow previous guidelines to physically distance, wear masks, and follow proper hand hygiene to limit spread and exposure to the virus as hospitals are still recovering from the surges of the past few weeks.
Health officials have continued to stress the importance of refraining from gathering in person and traveling for the upcoming holidays to prevent another surge in cases after the holidays.
The recent shutdown has impacted college campuses, prohibiting any in-person learning and moving completely online. This is seen in the number of cases being reported by colleges as well, as some schools only report cases of students and faculty who have been on-campus.
Grand Rapids Community College reported only one confirmed student case, and one confirmed staff case for the past week. This brings the total semester case count to 107 students and 25 staff members as of last week.
Grand Valley State University has a current total of 127 active cases, bringing their total of affected persons to 1,947. Their seven-day average of new cases is at 10.86.
In the Thursday, Dec 10 press conference with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Dr. Joneigh Khaldun outlined the upcoming distribution of the emergency authorized vaccines to Michigan’s frontliners and eldercare systems in the coming weeks.