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Top Health Official Hopes Return Of MSU Students Won't Result In COVID-19 Spike

Linda Vail Zoom image
Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail, speaking with reporters via Zoom on Tuesday

Ingham County’s top health official hopes the return of students to Michigan State University next week won’t mean more COVID-19 cases.

Linda Vail says MSU’s testing requirement will help stave off another spike like the one seen last September. One challenge that remains is convincing young people to follow safety protocols. “For a while, it was ‘we’re less likely to get it.’ You can clearly see, that 20 to 29 age group is the highest percentage of our cases, so they aren’t less likely to get it," explains Vail. "Once they are quite likely to get it, they are also quite likely and able to transmit it to other people."

Meanwhile, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office has announced that more COVID-19 vaccine is on its way. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says they’ll grant the release of the millions of doses requested by Whitmer and eight other governors.

Vail says it’s too soon to know when some of that vaccine might arrive, or how much be be allocated to Ingham County, adding "it’s really hard to know amongst those millions of doses how many are coming to the state of Michigan beyond the weekly allocation that they get already.”

Vail expressed confidence that Ingham County is ready for however much more vaccine might be provided.

As of Tuesday, Ingham County has recorded 217 COVID-19 deaths, with 23 so far in January.

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