CDC puts southeast Michigan counties back into high risk for COVID transmission

The COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet, and once again the state’s three most populous counties are classified by the CDC as high risk of transmission.

The Centers for Disease Control is updating its map, which identifies several southeast Michigan counties, including Oakland, Wayne and Macomb Counties, as high risk for transmission of COVID. According to CDC officials, the low, moderate, or high risk levels are determined by looking at the number of occupied hospital beds, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area.

Beaumont’s internist, Dr. Justin Skrzynski said the latest variant is causing more problems and this is the start of the climb.

“What drives that is the BA.5 variant,” he said. “Places such as the White House have already issued warnings in anticipation of a large surge in Covid patients nationally.”

If you are transferred to a high-risk area, it is recommended that you wear a mask in indoor public places.

This couldn’t come at a worse time as school districts prepare to welcome students back into the classroom.

“There will be no mask requirement from the Oakland County Department of Health,” said Bill Mullan, Oakland County Public Information Officer.

Instead, the district leaves school principals to decide what is best for each community.

“We often have discussions with school leaders, and it’s up to each district at this point to determine what is in the best interests of its students and teachers,” Mullan said.

dr Skrzynski said the best thing to do is wear a mask and get the vaccine or booster to prevent surges that could overwhelm health services.

“Masking is always a good idea, especially when it’s not necessary. Especially in a dense environment,” he said. “We’ve lost a tremendous number of healthcare workers who have quit because, frankly, the work is very, very difficult. It’s very traumatizing to do that,” said Dr. Skrzyński.

If cases continue to rise, some medical professionals believe it may be time to revisit public health mandates that require certain measures, such as masking.

“To keep our work going, we must not be taken for granted, and we need community action to prevent these cases from reaching the hospital,” said Dr. Skrzyński.

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