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As the country ramps up its vaccination efforts against COVID-19, Michigan is battling another surge in cases as a result of more transmissible variants, especially among younger people.
Dr. Justin Skrzynski, a coronavirus hospitalist at Beaumont Health’s Royal Oak facility, told CNN regular testing still only shows if someone is positive or negative for coronavirus. However, many of the samples that are sent to the state to be tested for mutations have come back showing 40% of patients are infected with the B.1.1.7 variant, which was discovered in the United Kingdom last November.
The variant is more transmissible and studies have suggested it’s also deadlier.
Late last month, Rochelle Walensky, the new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned that a fourth surge was on its way as cases, deaths, and hospitalizations began to trickle upwards. “Right now I’m scared,” Walensky said during a White House press briefing last month.
On Monday, Walensky said younger people are fueling the latest spike in COVID-19 cases across the country, citing school reopenings and after-school sports.
“We are learning that many outbreaks in young people are related to youth sports and extracurricular activities. According to CDC guidance, these activities should be limited,” Walensky said.
Tina Catron, 44, who is hospitalized for COVID-19, told CNN she suspects her family became infected via her kid’s soccer league.
“We’re not 100% sure,” she told CNN, “but we think from the soccer field, with the parents, even though we’re all masked up. From the sidelines, everyone’s yelling. And I think what happened is my husband was with my son, his soccer game. And he brought it home.”
The Detroit News reported last week that COVID-19 cases among kids ages 10 to 19 in the state rose by 133% in the four weeks prior.
The state reported 10,293 new coronavirus cases and 21 additional deaths over the past two days. Overall, Michigan has recorded more than 700,000 cases with over 16,000 deaths.
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