Young people blamed for COVID-19 spread in Genesee County

The county health department reports daily case counts increasing to 200, several days in the last two weeks.
Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 5:48 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (3/30/2021) - Genesee County is experiencing a steady uptick in COVID-19 cases.

The county health department reports daily case counts increasing to 200, several days in the last two weeks.

The Flint area is ranked 4th in the country by the New York Times for where the COVID-19 outbreak is the worst now relative to population, 8th for where new cases are increasing the fastest.

The Genesee County Health Department confirms, explaining the largest number of new cases is actually people 18-years-old and younger.

“People have to go back to work, so kids have to go back to daycare. You know, kids go to after school care,” explained Genesee County Deputy Health Officer Kayleigh Blaney. “So we know that kids are just in, you know, congregate settings a lot more than adults are really at this point.”

And while Blaney said kids tend to not get as sick from COVID-19 -- recovering much quicker -- the people they spread it to might not.

So, she’s hopeful kids 16 and up will sign up to get the vaccine when they become eligible this coming Monday.

“Fortunately, the vaccine distribution has been very steady, we’ve been able to plan ahead a little bit more because we have a better idea of what we’re going to be getting every week, whereas for a little while there it was pretty uncertain,” Blaney said.

But until then, she’s reminding the community to take health and safety protocols seriously.

“Even though we’re not necessarily seeing a huge spike in ICU stays or COVID ventilator patients, like we were last March and April, we still are seeing those patients,” she added.

The coronavirus pandemic isn’t over and the county health department is still identifying the UK COVID variant every week. But Blaney said the pandemic fatigue, plus more and more adults receiving the vaccine, has the community resuming life as normal.

“Wherever you are -- if you’re going on spring break, if you’re not going on spring break and staying home -- it’s still very important to follow those masking and social distancing guidelines to try and prevent yourself from getting infected, no matter what you’re doing,” Blaney said.

The Genesee County Health Department is asking, if you haven’t already, to sign up on their website or your local pharmacy to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

They’re scheduling several weeks in advance now that they have a good idea of the type of vaccine and number of doses they’re receiving.

So far, more than 154,000 doses have been administered in the County.

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