Metro Detroit is again becoming a hot spot for transmissions, with one hospital system reporting nearly 400 COVID-19 patients.
Dr. Nick Gilpin, the medical director of infection prevention at Beaumont Health, said it’s the fourth largest spike in cases the health system has seen since the delta variant surge filled about 700 beds earlier this year.
“I think some signaling that things are starting to get better has led to some more relaxed attitudes. We’re seeing relaxed behaviors with regard to masking, physical distancing. We’re seeing more and more large gatherings take place.” –Dr. Nick Gilpin, Beaumont Health
“I think some signaling that things are starting to get better has led to some more relaxed attitudes,” Gilpin said. “We’re seeing relaxed behaviors with regard to masking, physical distancing. We’re seeing more and more large gatherings take place.”
Hospitals across Michigan said this week that they have been overwhelmed by the state’s fourth COVID-19 surge, and officials say this slow surge looks a lot different than previous waves of the pandemic.
Mask-wearing in Michigan has declined to about 25% of people, according to a combination of surveys tracked by an influential modeling group at the University of Washington.
“Concern over COVID in general is pretty much gone, which is unfortunate,” said Dr. Jennifer Morse, medical director at health departments in 20 central and northern Michigan counties. “I feel strange going into a store masked. I’m a minority. It’s very different. It’s just a really unusual atmosphere right now.”
Gilpin says the rise in COVID-19 numbers is largely among people who are not vaccinated. According to the state, nearly 70% of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine but the rate varies county by county. He says the cooler weather also creates easier conditions for the virus to spread.
“The percentage of tests positive in the tri-county metro Detroit area has also increased and is now around 11.5%,” he says. That positivity rate is more than double the national average, Gilpin says.
The statewide positivity rate is on the rise and is currently at 14.1%, according to the latest epidemiology report from the state. That’s up from 11.6% the week before. According to the Michigan has the eighth highest case rate nationally.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.