Washington – The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is pushing for more stringent restrictions in Michigan to slow COVID-19 infection, such as a temporary stop of eating in indoor restaurants or stricter regulations on youth sports.

“I will encourage stronger mitigation strategies, as you know, to reduce community activity, ensure masking, and we are working closely with states to try to do so,” said Rochelle. CDC Director Walensky spoke about Michigan at a Wednesday briefing.

Walensky said that in areas with high or high levels of community transmission, including Michigan ̵

1; “I encourage communities to consider modifications to their specific needs and circumstances”, such as abstinence from youth sports. Who don’t go out and can’t do at least six feet apart

Walensky’s remarks came as Michigan’s top epidemiologist said on Wednesday the state had the highest number of cases, the highest rate of sickness and the highest rate of coronavirus hospitalizations and use of the hospital. In intensive care in the country

The state’s test positive rate rose 348 percent from six weeks ago, up from 4.3 percent on Feb. 19 to 15.6 percent on Wednesday, said Sarah Lyon-Callo, director of the Michigan Bureau of Epidemiology and Population Health in New York. During a press conference in Lansing.

The patient rates have risen 375 percent since their lowest point on Feb. 19 from 190 per million to 491 per million today, she said.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told CNN on Tuesday that Michigan could lift most of the remaining COVID-19 business restrictions if the state’s vaccination rates rise.

Michigan’s goal is to vaccinate 70% of people over the age of 16. The rate is 22.8% through Tuesday.

“If we’re successful and people come in and get involved, we can be in that position this summer,” Whitmer said.

Walensky said Wednesday that the CDC team is in the Michigan area to assess outbreaks at correctional facilities and facilitate further testing in the context of youth sports.

Her agency is conducting increased and graded public health surveillance to understand. “What happened to B.1.1.7” and variants makes it better, Walensky said, referring to the UK variant that was more contagious than the original and is now a “B.1.1.7” variant. The most common breed in the United States has more than 400 B.1.1.7 cases in the Michigan prison system.

All three forms of concern exist in Michigan, according to Lyon-Callo, the confirmed number of cases is expected to be lower than the actual number of infections because strains can only be confirmed through the genetic sequencing of the viral sample.

According to Lyon-Callo, based on the 12,505 Lyon-Callo reports that have been confirmed so far in the United States, there have been 1,817 confirmed cases of strain B.1.1.7, more contagious than reproduction. The first of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and it quickly became the dominant strain in the UK.

The United States found 323 patients with variant B.1.351, which were first identified in South Africa, including seven in Michigan and among 224 in the US of the P.1 variant, first identified in Brazil, two confirmed by Michigan.

But federal health officials say there are no plans to increase the supply of the COVID vaccine to the state as the federal government continues to allocate volumes based on population.

However, Wallensky noted that Michigan officials are increasingly supplying the vaccine to areas of the state where the COVID-19 epidemic is in progress.

“We have the ability to move vaccines around within the state, but we have close contact, both through the CDC and in direct conversations with the governor and her team, what resources can be useful. Most of the time, ”said White House Counsel Andy Slavitt of Michigan.

“And there is nothing off the table in those discussions in terms of the support we can provide, and we will keep all options open when we are nearby.”

Slavitt noted that there was The “menu of things” that his team checks with the state in this situation includes staff, personnel, treatment and facilities.

Asked for comment on Walensky’s remarks, Whitmer’s office said Michigan still has “smart” health policies, such as setting masks and large-scale assembly capacity limits, unlike states like “smart” health policies. Texas and Florida have reduced restrictions.

“We are still very much in this outbreak. But we’ve learned a lot about how to protect ourselves and our loved ones, ”said Whitmer spokeswoman Bobby Leddie.

“That’s why all Michigan spiders have a personal responsibility to do their part by wearing masks, washing hands and keeping social distance to help slow the spread of the virus.”

The state is moving forward with plans to increase testing for schools, businesses and nursing homes and expand testing protocols for all student athletes in addition to adding the state’s vaccine program over the past two weeks, he noted.

The state opened the grant of the vaccine to anyone over the age of 16 on Monday.

One area where the state of Michigan has seen an epidemic in recent weeks is youth sports events, which have contributed to an increase in COVID cases among children ages 10 to 19 over the past five weeks, where it is growing. Than any other age group

Walensky noted that the CDC’s advice on this youth sport It is “quite clear” about having a high or high relay.

“These activities should take place outdoors and more than 6 feet apart,” she said, adding that testing should take place at least twice a week if these activities are sports that have a high risk of transmitting the virus.

An epidemic order issued by Michigan officials last month required rapid COVID testing for all young athletes ages 13-19, a rule that applies to middle school students through high school students as well as sports. Of a private club

Whitmer said Tuesday that officials may need to take further action to quell transmission through schools and club sports.

“We’re seeing a constant spread in teen sports, and frankly, it’s something we’re really worried about,” she said, “… this is probably part of where we need to do more.”

Last week, advocacy groups sued the Michigan health director over COVID-19’s new role and regulation for youth sports rules, claiming that it was “inaccurate” and infringed on reasonable process rights.

Domestically, the CDC is also monitoring outbreaks in daycare centers, Walensky said Wednesday.

mburke@detroitnews.com

Beth LeBlanc, contributing writer

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