Towards the end of spring, the COVID-19 situation appears to be improving in Ontario. But those considering crossing the border into Michigan should keep in mind that the state’s pandemic appears to be going the opposite way.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now lists Michigan as in the high-risk area for the spread of the virus and recommends people take precautions like wearing masks.

General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler parent Stellantis said Sunday they are reinstating the requirement for employees to wear masks in southeast Michigan, where there are high levels of COVID-19.

“The number of reported cases is lower than in January with the first Omicron wave,” said Dr. Laraine Washer, medical director for infection control at the University of Michigan Health.

“It’s probably about 25 percent of the cases, but we have to keep in mind that a lot of the cases these days are not reported to public health because people are testing themselves at home.”

Washer said cases were up because the latest subvariant is so contagious and people are having a lot more contact with each other.

Windsor Morning7:43Michigan COVID

COVID-19 cases are on the rise again in Michigan, and this time the case numbers aren’t a very good predictor of the spread. What you need to know if you’re traveling to the US soon. Host Nav Nanwa talks to Dr. Laraine Washer, Medical Director of Infection Control at the University of Michigan Health

“We’ve had a lot of behavior changes that have come from two years of real social distancing and mask-wearing, and now, at least in Michigan, you’re wearing a lot less masks,” she said.

“There is more interaction and therefore more opportunities for a highly contagious subvariant to spread, and finally I would like to say that reinfection is possible with these subvariants.”

Michigan’s COVID-19 levels are rising in some counties, according to the Centers for Disease Control. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Meanwhile, Ontario on Tuesday reports 1,345 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and 11 other virus-related deaths, a significant jump from the previous day.

Tuesday’s hospitalizations are up from 1,122 on Monday but down from 1,555 just a week ago.

Of the hospitalized patients, 165 patients require intensive care treatment, six more than the previous day, the province said. 77 patients require the help of a ventilator to breathe.

The province is reporting at least 1,028 new COVID-19 cases through limited PCR testing, with 12,233 testing completed the previous day. Due to testing limitations, the actual number of new cases each day is likely far higher than the reported number, officials said.

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