Detroit-area health agencies recommend masks in indoor public places | PA

DETROIT – Health departments in Detroit, Oakland, Macomb, Wayne and Washtenaw counties are recommending that all residents wear masks in indoor public places as the rate of COVID-19 infection has increased.

All of Metro Detroit has gone from a “medium” to “high” level of community transmission, indicating residents are more likely to be exposed to COVID-19, the Detroit Health Department said Wednesday.

The recommendation is for both those who are vaccinated and those who are not.

Ferndale Public Schools on Monday reimposed an indoor mask mandate for staff and students “to ensure that we are doing everything we can to keep our students and staff healthy and our schools open…”, according to a statement posted Friday on the district’s website.

Communicability is considered “high” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when weekly cases increase by 100 or more weekly cases per 100,000 people.

Wayne County has 323 weekly cases per 100,000 residents, according to the state health department. As of Monday, Oakland County had 372 cases per 100,000 population, Macomb County had 347 cases per 100,000 and Washtenaw County had 521 cases per 100,000 population.

According to the CDC, people in counties with high transmission rates are recommended to wear masks indoors in public places, including K-12 schools.

Cases in the Detroit metro area and throughout Michigan have been rising for more than a month. There are 16 counties that are considered “high” transmission in Michigan. Detroit, Macomb and Wayne counties released their recommendation on Wednesday. Oakland and Washtenaw released their recommendation on May 12.

Immunocompromised individuals should wear a mask or respirator for added protection and consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities. If you are exposed, self-isolate for five days and get tested.

The Detroit Health Department recommends that vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals:

—Wear a mask in indoor public places or crowded spaces

—Get tested if they think they have been exposed or have symptoms

—Get vaccinated and boosted to ease symptoms of COVID-19

People who test positive for COVID-19 should talk to their healthcare provider about treatments like oral antivirals and monoclonal antibodies.

Other Michigan counties that remain at a “high” level are Antrim, Benzie, Calhoun, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Livingston, Mackinac, Manistee and St. Clair. Another 28 counties have a “medium” level of transmission, according to the state health department.

Detroit is the latest city to be chosen for a nationwide program dubbed “Test to Treat,” which city officials have touted as a one-stop COVID-19 service. Residents can receive a test, a medical evaluation and if positive, receive free antiviral medication. Appointments must be made in advance by calling (313) 230-0505.

Detroit is one of the hardest hit cities in the country with 130,586 confirmed cases resulting in 3,428 deaths.

About 42% of all Detroit residents age 5 and older have been fully vaccinated, compared to 61% of Michigan residents.

“The numbers show an increase in cases that we know can cause stress to local hospitals,” said Denise Fair Razo, public health officer for the Detroit Health Department. “We have worked hard to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and taking these precautions will help us continue to thrive.”

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