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Health, Science and Environment

Health officials hope people will follow pandemic guidelines over holiday weekend

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City of San Antonio

More Michiganders are vaccinated against COVID-19 this holiday weekend than any other since the pandemic began, but local health officials said Friday that it might not be enough to avert a spike in cases in a few weeks.

Still, Steve Hall, the health officer for the Central Michigan District Health Department, said he has some hope.

“Memorial Day Weekend, a lot of activity occurs outdoors,” he said. “Outdoors is better, certainly.”

Hall said being outside disperses the virus and makes its spread less likely.

Nonetheless, Hall said, there’s a possibility the holiday will reverse the recent trend of declining hospitalizations in Michigan.

“We could certainly see spikes,” he said.

Scott Izzo, an epidemiologist and community health director in District Health Department No. 2 in the northeast part of the state, said a spike in cases increases the odds of variants of the virus developing.

“That’s part of why getting vaccinated is so important,” he said. “It takes away chances for the virus to adapt and change.”

Health officials said the same precautions that have been advised throughout the pandemic are still important: wash hands, keep distance, and wear a mask unless you’re vaccinated.

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