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BA.5 Variant Spikes New Covid Cases

(CBS DETROIT) - Summertime brings summer gatherings and state health regulators are urging families to continue to take safety precautions to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, there are over 16,600 new cases and 160 Covid-19 related deaths in the last week.

"While it does look like the decline in cases have stopped, the decline has leveled out," said Dr. Bagdasarian.

"We've reached what I would call an undulating plateau."

Michigan's Chief Medical Executive Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian says the BA.5 omicron subvariant is more transmissible than previous strains.

"They are a little bit more immune-invasive, which means that for people who have prior immunity, these variants or these sub variants are a little bit better at still causing infections," said Dr. Bagdasarian

The infectious disease physician says although cases are rising, Michigan remains a low-risks state compared to others with hotter climates.

"So when we look at states like Florida and Texas, they have higher Covid rates than states up in the north like Michigan with our more temperate climate where people are perhaps outdoors socializing, versus in the south where they may be moving indoors for that air conditioning benefit," Dr. Bagdasarian explained.

Health care experts are encouraging families to make a plan to minimize exposure.

In addition to vaccines, tools include keeping a supply of test kits and masks at home.

"And then talk to your health care provider ahead of time to see if you qualify for a medication like Paxlovid so that if you were to develop Covid, you would know already that you could head out to a test to treat center and get a prescription for Paxlovid," said Dr. Bagdasarian.


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