COVID-19 increases in county
COVID-19 cases in Lenawee County have increased steadily over the past few weeks, as have hospitalizations for the viral infection, following the trend happening across most of the country.
On Tuesday, Aug. 31, the Lenawee County Health Department’s COVID-19 case data at lenawee.mi.us/931/COVID-19---Case-Information showed an increase of 21 lab-confirmed and five probable cases of coronavirus since the previous day, bringing the total of cases in the county to 226. Fifteen people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 on that day, two patients fewer than the day before. The ProMedica Charles and Virginia Hickman Hospital has a total of 10 critical care unit beds.
With Lenawee County at the highest risk level of transmission, the seven-day average daily positive test rate is at 12.6%, with 227.5 cases per million. There have been 10,115 cases and 176 deaths from COVID-19 in Lenawee County since the start of the pandemic.
Hickman Hospital was recently chosen as one of 51 small, rural hospitals in the state to receive part of a $13 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, secured by Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The hospital will receive approximately $257,000 to support COVID-19 testing and mitigation, and the funds must be used within 18 months of receipt.
Hospitals awarded the grants will be able to use the funds for testing equipment, personnel, temporary structures or education, and mitigation strategies must be part of the Centers for Disease Control community mitigation framework, including education, contact tracing, communication, and outreach.
“Our top priority is supporting the brave professionals on the frontlines of our health care industry in every corner of our state to ensure that they have what they need to protect themselves, their family, and their neighbors,” said Whitmer in a press release. “This funding will help rural hospitals continue serving their communities by expanding their COVID-19 testing capacity and mitigation efforts. I want to thank the nurses, doctors, and all medical professionals who continue to go above and beyond to keep people safe each and every day.”
“We are pleased to hear about the Governor’s assistance in getting additional support for rural hospitals in the state of Michigan as we fight this pandemic,” said Dr. Julie Yaroch, president of Hickman Hospital. “These dollars may be used for both operational and structural changes we have had to face to provide safe care for our patients and a safe working environment for our teams. Every dollar we are able to capture will go directly to our COVID efforts to protect the communities we serve.”
With school back in session, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has stated that everything possible should be done to keep students in schools in-person. To that end, the AAP recommends several coordinated interventions to reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission to students and staff, including vaccination for all eligible individuals, and universal masking for all students older than two years old as well as for all staff, unless medical or developmental conditions prohibit their use.
Under an executive order signed by Governor Whitmer on August 13, the State of Michigan has begun expediting delivery of third doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to residents who have compromised immune systems, including those who have received organ or stem cell transplants, have advanced or untreated HIV infection, or are in active treatment for cancer or taking high-dose corticosteroids.
The state began administering third doses to eligible Michiganders on August 14. The governor has also directed state departments and agencies to begin preparing the state’s vaccine response to administer third booster doses to residents later this month.
Beginning September 20, the state will offer booster shots to residents who received their second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines at least eight months earlier. The state has an adequate supply of the COVID-19 vaccine to meet the projected demand. Priority for the first booster shots for the general public will be given to residents of nursing homes.
Michigan residents seeking more information about the COVID-19 vaccine can visit Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine, and the latest information about the virus is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus. COVID-19 vaccine locations can be found at Vaccines.gov.