Michigan Now Has 17 Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 Variant

Jan 26, 2021

A laboratory technician is pictured handling swab samples at a hospital in Mulhouse, France, in November. French officials confirmed the country's first case of the new coronavirus variant in Dec. 2020.
Credit PATRICK HERTZOG / AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Now that 17 cases of a new COVID-19 variant have been confirmed in the state, Michigan health officials are trying to figure out how widespread it is.

The state does tens of thousands of COVID tests a day, but only a tiny fraction get sequenced to figure out which genetic variant is present. And the process takes about a week.

Washtenaw County, where a majority of those cases have been confirmed, did pop up testing over the weekend, says spokesperson Susan Ringler-Cerniglia.

"Is that telling us that we're stemming the tide so to speak on these clusters? Or are we seeing wider transmission of it?" Ringler Cerniglia said.

Officials won't know for a couple of weeks, she says, because they need to get at least a few cycles of testing sequenced. Meanwhile, indoor dining is reopening on Monday in Michigan.