IMAGE: Coronavirus

Health officials warned the rise in COVID-19 cases across the state could be the beginning of a second wave.

Dr. Joneigh Khladun, chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said with hospitalizations increasing, deaths could follow.

“Overall, what this data is telling us is that we need to remain very concerned about what we’re seeing across the state and we need people to remain vigilant,” Khaldun said.

Dr. Nicholas Haddad, an infectious disease professor at Central Michigan University, said what we’re seeing now is how epidemics act.

There are high point and low points, and right now we are in an uptick.

Haddad echoed Khaldun’s warnings though.

“There is a slight increase, but nothing to be completely panicked about. However, we need to stay very vigilant and please people. We’re all sick and tired of it, but never lose the importance of prevention,” Haddad said.

Currently, the state infection rate is 82 cases for every 100,000 people.

To even be considered a “surge,” Haddad said that rate has to almost double.

Saginaw County is at 52 cases per 100,000 people.

Both Haddad and health officials expressed concern over the Upper Peninsula.

“The UP is underpopulated. It’s not a congested area, but the numbers are rising significantly and that’s maybe because people felt lax because it had been late arriving to that area. So that’s a good example for all of us to be very careful,” Haddad said.

Hospitals are prepared for rises, according to the Michigan Health and Hospital Association. But a second wave could spell trouble.

Copyright 2020 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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