COVID-19 cases are climbing in Michiana

Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 8:11 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) -Health officials say the reason for the rise in COVID cases in Berrien County is likely due to the Delta variant. Cases across Indiana and Michigan are on the rise.

“Our transmission is up 10 fold over a month. Our hospitalizations are up four fold over the last month,” Dr. Loren Hamel, President of Spectrum Health Lakeland, says.

According to healthcare professionals, we’re heading back to a level they were hoping to avoid.

”We’ve been here before, we were here in November. We were here in April. We’re now in a steep increase in cases,” Dr. Hamel says.

That’s the latest information from Berrien County, but the story is the same statewide in Indiana and Michigan. So, let’s put that into perspective.

In Indiana, on August 24th of last year there were 806 new cases reported. Tuesday of this week the Indiana State Department of Health reports 5,037 new cases; that’s a massive increase.

As far as COVID deaths in Indiana, on July 8th the state saw two deaths. On August 24th there were 19.

“Why are we back in this situation? It’s primarily the Delta variant, which is probably twice as infectious,” Dr. Rex Cabaltica, Berrien County Health Director, says.

Looking at Michigan over the past month, July 23rd saw 515 new cases and August 23rd shows 1,592 cases of COVID-19.

Health officials say part of the problem is thinking we’re out of the woods with COVID-19, but bringing back mitigation strategies could help, like masking, social distancing, hand washing, and making sure you get your vaccine.

”It makes sense to be careful. This disease is still killing people, and even if you don’t know people that have died from the disease, many folks who get and recover from COVID do not recover completely,” Dr. Hamel says.

The CDC says the entire Michiana area is in the red, and that means a high rate of transmission. The surrounding areas are also in the red. Health officials say, keep others in mind.

”I believe the responsible thing to do, the loving thing to do for our friends and neighbors is to do everything we can to protect out community from transmission,” Dr. Hamel adds.

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