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CDC advises eight northern lower and eastern upper counties to wear masks indoors

Jievani Weerasinghe

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are advising residents of several northwest lower peninsula and eastern upper peninsula counties to wear masks in public indoor spaces.

Those counties include Chippewa, Mackinac, Emmet, Cheboygan, Antrim, Grand Traverse, Benzie and Manistee.

The CDC says these counties have “high” levels of transmission. That's based on new cases per one hundred thousand, new COIVD-19 hospitalizations and the rise in the number of hospital beds holding COVID-19 patients.

Dan Thorell is an interim Health Officer for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan. He says the rise in cases is not surprising given the spread of the BA-2 variant of Omicron in other countries.

"We're learning more and so we're able to predict a little bit better. Given what we saw in Europe, that what we're seeing here in the United States, it's kind of following those same exact trend lines," said Thorell.

Thorell added that he can’t predict the future, but there’s a good chance cases will continue to rise and fall through the pandemic.

"What we won't see, hopefully, is hospitalizations, and severe outcomes, including deaths go up, like the number of cases do and that is exactly what's happening right now. Cases are increasing, but we're not seeing hospitalizations increase at the same rate," said Thorell.

The CDC says 28 Michigan counties now have moderate levels of COVID-19 transmission.

Rick joined WCMU as a general assignment reporter in March 2022.