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Michigan Health Officials Issuing Face Mask Advisory Due To Rise In Flu, COVID-19 Cases

(CBS Detroit) -- The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will be issuing a face mask advisory ahead of the holidays due to the rise in COVID-19 and flu cases.

According to a press release, the department will issue a Public Health Advisory recommending everyone age 2 and older wear a face mask at indoor gatherings regardless of vaccination status. Additionally, establishments should implement a policy ensuring everyone entering or seeking services, including employees, wear a face mask.

The mask advisory will remain in effect until further notice.

"The increases in case counts, percent positivity and hospitalizations have us very concerned," said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. "We are issuing the face mask advisory and are looking to Michiganders to do their part to help protect their friends, their families and their communities by wearing a mask in indoor settings and getting vaccinated for COVID-19 and flu as soon as possible if they have not already done so."

The department, which is following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is providing healthy tips a week before Thanksgiving.

Tips included:

  • Keeping family gatherings on the smaller side or going virtual.
  • Wearing masks if you gather with those who are outside of your household.
  • Staying home if you aren't feeling well.

This comes as the latest CDC data shows the state leading the nation in COVID cases, with 503.8 per 100,000, followed by Minnesota.

Michigan also hit a seven-month high of hospitalizations tied to the COVID, with more than 3,000 people currently occupying a bed.

On Wednesday, Whitmer encouraged all eligible adults to schedule appointments to receive a booster shot if it has been six months from when they were fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the CDC is investigating Michigan's first flu outbreak of the season occurring at the University of Michigan. The outbreak included more than 525 cases of influenza A (H3N2) among students.

"As we head into respiratory virus season, it is important to take every mitigation measure we can to prevent outbreaks of the flu, RSV, and COVID-19," said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, chief medical executive. "Wearing masks, washing hands, social distancing, and getting vaccinated for the flu and COVID-19 will help prevent the spread of illness. COVID-19 vaccines and flu vaccines can be administered at the same time, and we encourage all eligible Michiganders to get theirs as soon as possible."

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