March 26, 2021 – District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) reports that the COVID-19 B.1.1.7 variant has now been confirmed in four of the ten counties within the jurisdiction. Currently, there are 5 cases in Kalkaska, 1 in Mecosta, 1 in Missaukee, and 1 in Wexford. The cases were identified through routine active surveillance by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
B.1.1.7. appears to be more contagious, but so far there is no indication that it affects the clinical outcomes or disease severity compared to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that has been circulating across the United States for months. However, a higher rate of transmission could increase the number of people who need to be hospitalized or who die due to COVID-19 should the new variant begin circulating widely in Michigan. To date, the variant was identified in 51 states and jurisdictions in the U.S., with 986 cases in Michigan as of March 25, 2021. Michigan is one of only two states with more than 750 cases of the variant. Florida is the other state, currently with 1,042 cases.
“Now is definitely not the time to relax our prevention efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19” said Kevin Hughes, Health Director for DHD#10. “As new cases are climbing and we are all-hands-on-deck to get our residents vaccinated, we urge you to get tested if you have symptoms, and do not wait to hear from us before you isolate if you test positive.”
Important precautions to protect against COVID include:
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, have been exposed to COVID-19, or recently have traveled, get tested. You can find testing locations at www.mi.gov/coronavirustest or by calling 211 or the COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136, press 1.
For questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more COVID-19 vaccine information, visit us at www.dhd10.org/covid-19-vaccine. To stay informed, sign up for our Public Health Alert at www.dhd10.org/subscribe.