Michigan COVID surge trends in ‘deeply concerning direction’

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan’s COVID-19 surge is trending in a “deeply concerning direction” ahead of the winter holidays and, unlike a year ago, is not subsiding following Thanksgiving.

State health officials delivered that sobering message Friday while urging vaccines and booster shots.

Infection rates and hospitalizations are at all-time highs 21 months into the pandemic. Vaccination rates lag the national average. Three in four patients hospitalized with the coronavirus are unvaccinated.

State health director Elizabeth Hertel warns the omicron variant may be be more transmissible than the delta variant. Michigan is deploying additional ventilators to hospitals and seeking more from the national stockpile.