Michigan promoting vaccines rather than more restrictions during COVID-19 surge

Elizabeth Hertel testifies before lawmakers on Feb. 9.
Elizabeth Hertel testifies before lawmakers on Feb. 9.(WLUC)
Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 2:03 PM EDT
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DETROIT (AP) - Michigan’s health director says the state is focusing on getting more people vaccinated, not imposing new restrictions on the economy, despite a wave of COVID-19 cases.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel notes that indoor high school sports, a source of infections, are wrapping up soon and spring sports are outdoors. All teen athletes must be regularly tested.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the discussion of increasing coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday, shortly before she got her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. She said the restrictions in place now are adequate, but a lack of compliance is leading to rising statistics.

Michigan lately has been at or near the top in the U.S. for new COVID-19 cases. The state is one of five that combine to account for 44% of the U.S. COVID-19 spread.

The health department says about 37% of residents 16 and older has had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The number of people with COVID-19 admitted to Michigan hospitals has doubled every 12 to 14 days for three weeks.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported more than 3,500 patients hospitalized statewide for treatment of COVID-19 illnesses. Seven hospitals in Mid-Michigan reported they are at 80% or more patient capacity this week.

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