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Spectrum Health official predicts a rise in cases with new COVID Variant


Michigan health officials are warning the public to be on alert as COVID-19 cases are on the rise in West Michigan.

According to health officials, the recent uptick in positive coronavirus test results is likely due to the Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1., a strain considered both highly contagious and transmissible.

Dr. Liam Sullivan is an infectious disease specialist at Spectrum Health. He says that not only has the variant made its way to West Michigan already, cases are also expected to increase.

“I don’t think that this spike in positivity is all that unusual or unexpected. Fortunately it has not led to any huge increases in hospitalization. While the omicron variant and its subvariants can more easily infect people who have a history of immunity, it does not increase the risk for severe disease at all.”

Michigan has classified Kent County at a “medium level” for Coronavirus cases. And while Spectrum Health says it hasn’t seen an increase in hospitalizations so far, Sullivan says the variant should not be written off as harmless either.

“People need to realize this virus is not going anywhere–it’s going to be with us from here on forward. So I would encourage people to please continue to consider vaccination whether or not you’ve had Covid before or not because that’s gonna be the best thing right now to protect people from getting severely sick.”

On Monday, the CDC officially confirmed over one million people in the US have died due to complications from COVID-19, more than twice the number of American deaths recorded in World War 2.

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