How to navigate the holidays with COVID’s latest surge

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BENTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — COVID-19 and its peaks and valleys continue on.

Right now, it’s another surge we’re in, with hospitals at capacity and the rate of positive cases going up.

While comparing this to last year in Berrien County, their highest numbers came just before Thanksgiving 2020.

1,200 cases over a seven day period and an average of 782 per 100,000 people. 

Right now we’re sitting at 584 cases per 100,000 ,so it’s decreased from the high point last year, but we were just coming out of our highest point this year where the weekly average was 1,034 cases on December 5th,” said Guy Miller, MPH, Interim Health Officer at the Berrien County Health Department. 

With Christmas church services and parties on the horizon, plus family coming into town, Miller said there are many variables that go into factoring your specific risk. 

“We never know who the next person is who’s spreading it, I can take a test before but COVID can manifest in a few hours.”

So, what can you do to go forward with those plans? 

“If you can get vaccinated, that’s going to reduce the amount of viral particle you’re going to shed, a mask will reduce the amount of respiratory droplets, social distancing is a great option – say sitting grandma at the other side of the table, farther away from anyone who’s at greater risk,” said Miller. 

If things continue to mirror last year, there could be a plateau soon.

“Into January we saw cases decrease, so looking into the crystal ball I hope that’s the same thing that happens this year.” 

Miller also mentioned that the demand for testing is going up and reminds people you can use at home testing kits, just make sure to report a positive case to your local health department so they can do contact tracing. 

 

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