Today Michigan health officials announced that the state's first case of the COVID-19 Brazil varient has been detected. Health officials say this particular variant has been associated with increased transmissibility and there are concerns it might affect both vaccine-induced and natural immunity.

Photo provided by the State of Michigan

Health experts say Michigan is in a race to vaccinate as many adults as possible, before the state is again overwhelmed by cases of COVID-19. 

Michigan’s rate of new COVID cases is among the highest in the nation. The number of reported cases per day is at levels not seen since before Christmas. 

Some health officials say variants of COVID which spread more easily are helping drive the surge. 

Michigan Announces New Guidelines For Youth Sports As COVID-19 Cases Trend Upward

Mar 19, 2021
Photo provided by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is easing outdoor stadium capacity restrictions before baseball's Opening Day but ordering weekly testing of teen athletes amid a climbing coronavirus case rate that ranks fourth nationally over the past week. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Friday that, for now, she does not plan to tighten COVID-19 restrictions — noting ongoing vaccinations while also citing concerns about variants that more easily spread. Under a revised health order that starts Monday, outdoor arenas — including the Detroit Tigers’ Comerica Park — can seat 20% of their capacity. Starting April 2, athletes ages 13 to 19 must participate in a weekly testing program.

Screenshot via Facebook Live

As of now, St. Joseph Co. Deputy Health Officer Dr. Mark Fox says that 10% of the county's residents are fully vaccinated. Deaths from COVID-19 are coming down. The county has only seen two deaths from the virus in March and there were 20 deaths in February of s021. Fox says the number of cases has hit a plateau. He says the U.K. variant that has now been detected in the county is likely to infect more people and may cause more deaths. 

"We don't want to become hysterical, but we don't want to become complacent," Fox said in reference to the B.1.1.7 variant.  

90 Cases Of COVID-19 Variant At Michigan Prison

Feb 17, 2021

The Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Services has announced that 90 cases of the COVID-19 variant have been detected at one of the state's prisons. 

Screenshot from Facebook Live

"It's here or will be arriving soon."

That's the word from Dr. Mark Fox of the St. Joseph Co. Health Dept. on his predictions for the presence of variants of COVID-19 showing up in the county. He says people should operate on an assumption that they need to protect themselves from these strains which are more contagious. Although none of the strains have been detected yet in St. Joseph County, some have been detected in Indiana and in Michigan, particularly in the Ann Arbor area. 

U Of M Athletic Dept. On Pause Due To COVID-19 Variant

Jan 24, 2021

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The entire University of Michigan athletic department is pausing after several positive tests for the new COVID-19 variant  that transmits at a higher rate. The state Department of Health and Human Services issued the mandate Saturday, with the school saying it follows the positive COVID-19 tests for several individuals linked to the athletic department. The entire department could be in quarantine for two weeks. The 11th-ranked women’s basketball team was set to play at home against Purdue on Sunday. That was one of four athletic events the school had scheduled.