Michigan health officials urge residents to get tested as more cases of COVID variant confirmed – WDIV ClickOnDetroit

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is emphasizing the importance of COVID-19 testing with additional cases of the variant B.1.1.7 detected in a Wayne County resident and among people associated with the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Jan. 23, 2021: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 548,069; Death toll now at 14,291

Health officials identified a confirmed variant case in a Wayne County man Saturday. He is the sixth confirmed case after five in Washtenaw County.

The University of Michigan’s Athletic Department has put a pause on all activities starting Sunday. All Michigan Athletic team members — student athletes, coaches and team staff — have been asked to immediately isolate or quarantine until further notice.

MORE: Tracking COVID-19 weekly growth factor by Michigan county

“The new variant is present in Michigan and we are at risk of seeing more spread of COVID-19. Everyone should do their part to end this pandemic. Get tested if you have been exposed, have symptoms, or have recently traveled to an area with a new variant spreading,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “Make sure you are following all quarantine and isolation guidance. And do your part to prevent the spread of this virus by continuing to wear your mask, avoid gatherings, socially distance, and washing your hands.”

Related: Michigan health officials concerned over COVID variants

Residents can find COVID-19 test sites in their communities on Michigan’s official website..

Because the variant spreads more easily, it could increase the number of people who need to be hospitalized or who lose their lives to COVID-19 should the new variant begin circulating widely in Michigan.

It is possible that there are more B.1.1.7 cases in Michigan that have not been identified.

Related: UK chief scientist says new virus variant may be more deadly

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