Washington – The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is pushing for tighter restrictions in Michigan to slow the rise in COVID-19 infections, such as a break in the indoor restaurant or stricter rules around youth sports.

“I would advocate for some stronger mitigation strategies, as you know, to reduce community activity, to ensure the wearing of masks, and we are working closely with the state to try to work for that,” he said. CDC Director Rochelle Valenski. for Michigan at a briefing on Wednesday.

Wallenski said that in areas with significant or high community transmission ̵

1; including Michigan – “I encourage communities to consider adjustments to meet their unique needs and circumstances,” such as abstaining from youth sports that are not out and cannot. are held at least six feet in pieces.

Walensky’s statement came when Michigan’s top epidemiologist said Wednesday that the state had the highest number of cases, the highest number of cases and the highest rate of coronavirus and intensive care hospitalizations in the country.

The state of positive tests in the country increased by 348% compared to six weeks ago, rising from 4.3% on February 19 to 15.6% on Wednesday, said Sarah Lyon-Kahlo, director of the Bureau of Statistics. epidemiology and public health in Michigan, during a press briefing in Lansing.

The incidence increased by 375% from the low on February 19, from 190 per million to 491 per million at the moment, she said.

Instead of imposing stricter rules on COVID, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told CNN on Tuesday that Michigan may be able to lift most of the remaining business restrictions on COVID-19 this summer if the state’s vaccination rate increases.

Michigan’s goal is to vaccinate 70% of people over the age of 16. On Tuesday, the percentage was 22.8%.

“If we succeed and people come in and do their part, we could be in that position this summer,” Whitmer said.

Walensky said Wednesday that CDC teams are on the ground in Michigan working to assess outbreaks at a correctional facility and facilitate more testing in the context of youth sports.

Her agency is also conducting increased public health monitoring and consistency to better understand “what’s happening with B.1.1.7” and options, Walensky said, citing the UK option, which is more contagious than the original strain is now the most common strain in the United States. There are more than 400 cases in the Michigan prison system. B.1.1.7.

All three types of anxiety are present in Michigan, according to Lyon-Callo. The number of confirmed cases is expected to be less than the number of actual infections, as variants can only be confirmed by genetic sequencing of viral samples.

Of the 12,505 confirmed cases of variant B.1.1.7 identified so far in the United States, Michigan has 1,817 confirmed cases, according to Lyon-Callo. Variant B.1.1.7 is more contagious than the initial iteration of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and is rapidly becoming the dominant strain in the United Kingdom.

The United States has identified 323 cases with variant B.1.351, first identified in South Africa, including seven in Michigan. And of the 224 U.S. cases of variant P.1 first identified in Brazil, Michigan confirmed two.

But federal public health officials said there were no plans to increase the supply of COVID vaccines in the state as the federal government continued to distribute doses based on population.

However, Valenski noted that Michigan officials are “increasing” the supply of vaccines in areas of the state that are experiencing more outbreaks of COVID-19.

“Of course, we have the opportunity to move vaccines around, but we are in close contact – both through the CDC and in direct conversations with the governor and her team – about what resources can be most useful at this time in weather, “COVID-19 White House adviser Andy Slavitt told Michigan.

“And nothing is out of the table in these conversations in terms of the kind of support we can provide, and we will keep all options open as long as we stay close.”

Slavit noted that there is a “menu of things” that his team reviews with conditions in this type of situation, including staff, staff, therapists and locations.

Asked to comment on Walensky’s remarks, Whitmer’s cabinet said Michigan continued to have “smart” health policies, such as a mask mandate and capacity constraints at large gatherings, unlike states like Texas and Florida, where borders had been dropped.

“We are still very much in this pandemic, but we have learned a huge amount about how to protect ourselves and our loved ones,” said Whitmer spokeswoman Bobby Lady.

“That’s why every Michigander has a personal responsibility to fulfill their role by wearing a mask, washing their hands and maintaining social distancing to help us slow down the spread of this virus.”

The state is making progress with plans to increase testing for schools, businesses and nursing homes and extended testing protocols for all student-athletes, in addition to expanding the state’s vaccine program over the past two weeks, he noted.

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

One area in which Michigan has seen outbreaks in recent weeks is in youth sports, contributing to cases of COVID among children aged 10 to 19 growing over the past five weeks – higher growth than among any other age group. .

Valenski noted that the CDC’s guidelines in this area of ​​youth sports are “quite clear” in terms of significant or high transmission.

“These activities should take place outdoors and at a distance of more than 6 feet from each other,” she said, adding that tests should be performed at least twice a week if these are sports with a high risk of transmitting viruses.

An epidemic order issued by Michigan officials last month called for rapid COVID testing for all young athletes ages 13-19, rules that apply to high school seniors through high school as well as private club sports.

Whiter said Tuesday that staff may need to take further action to stop the broadcast through school and club sports.

“We see that the spread continues in teen sports and, frankly, this is something we are very concerned about,” she said. “… this may be an area where we need to do more.”

An advocacy group sued Michigan’s health director last week over COVID-19’s new roles and protocols for youth sports rules, claiming they were “invalid” and violated due process rights.

At the national level, the CDC is also monitoring the increase in outbreaks in kindergartens, Valenski said on Wednesday.

mburke@detroitnews.com

Contributing writer Beth LeBlanc contributed.

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