GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Michigan is currently the second leading state in the country for B.1.1.7., The COVID-19 variant originating in the United Kingdom. Nationwide, there are more than 12,000 cases. Michigan accounts for about 10 percent of the variant cases, second only to Florida.
With many Michigander traveling for spring break, health officials remain concerned as cases continue to rise and people travel to areas considered hot spots for more contagious variants, such as B.1.1.7.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each state has identified at least one case of one of the main variants currently emerging, including variants from Brazil and South Africa.
“I’m concerned about how it looks now and then over the next two, three, four weeks because we see more people in the hospital. We also see sick people in the hospital,” said Dr. Del DeHart, medical director for infection prevention at Metro Health.
At present, data appear to indicate that the vaccine is effective against known variants. Doctors encourage everyone to be vaccinated when it is their turn.
“The more people who are vaccinated and the fewer cases there are, the less likely we are that other mutants will emerge,” said Dr. DeHart.
State health laboratories randomly test the variant, as well as samples that they suspect may contain the variant. It is unclear exactly how many cases there were, as testing was not carried out on every COVID sample.