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As COVID Cases Go Up, Mich Med Doctor Updates Us On Whether Or Not We're Nearing End Of Pandemic


The rate of COVID-19 cases across Michigan has been trending upward recently, and while many people are getting the vaccine, not everyone is on board with the idea.

Lisa Barry talks with Michigan Medicine infectious disease specialist Dr. Sandro Cinti for an update on where we are in the pandemic process and what medical professionals have learned in the past year of this global health crisis.

Sandro Cinti
Credit Michigan Medicine / uofmhealth.org
Dr. Sandro Cinti

Michigan Medicine infectious disease specialist Dr. Sandro Cinti says the availability of vaccines is improving at Michigan Medicine and in Washtenaw County, and that means people are going to get vaccinated much more quickly now.  The goal is to get 70% of the population vaccinated to reach so-called "herd immunity."  Dr. Cinti says they are seeing a "slow trend increase" in COVID cases at the hospital, but he says there are fewer cases in the hospital intensive care unit.  

He says he remains an advocate for wearing a mask and says we should continue to do and believes mask wearing may have impacted the lack ofinfluenzacases this year.  He says it still needs to be determined how groups will be managed in schools or at the college levels, where some people are vaccinated and some people choose not to be, adding that is something we will be struggling with over the next few months. 

Dr. Cinti says he is still not personally comfortable eating inside a restaurant, calling it a "tough call" until more people are vaccinated.  But he says that is going to change as we see more people get vaccinated and case numbers go down.  He says it will be much safer when more people are vaccinated, and the percentage of people infected with the virus is below 3%, which he says it is more than twice that rate right now, if not higher.

Dr. Cinti says he is "very confident" the vaccines work and adds it's been enough time since the vaccines have been in use to prove their safety.  He adds it's understandable after a long cold winter that people are anxious to return to normal life and socialize.  But he says if we can take health precautions for a few more months, we'll be in better shape.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu

Lisa Barry was a reporter, and host of All Things Considered on 89.1 WEMU.
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