Mason County Holds Second Highest COVID Case Rate in Nation
As the nation fights through the fourth COVID-19 spike, Michigan has been hit particularly hard. Especially the lakeshore.
One in every 10 new COVID-19 cases across the country is in Michigan. According to the New York Times COVID-19 Tracker breaking it down to the county level, Mason County has the second highest case rate of any county in the nation with 137 cases per 100,000 people. Oceana County comes in at #10 on that list and health experts are taking this information and trying to figure out what that means going forward.
“It’s just hard to know exactly what’s happening,” said Dr. Jennifer Morse, Medical Director for the District Health Department #10.
Michigan is on fire with COVID cases and, looking at the numbers, lakeshore counties are some of the hottest in the nation.
“Some of our smaller counties, if they have larger outbreaks, their rates will be higher just because they have smaller populations,” said Morse.
The numbers game can skew data a bit for smaller counties but it doesn’t ease the strain on local hospitals.
“All but one person in my Gerber Hospital is COVID,” said Drew Dostal, President of Spectrum Gerber in Fremont and Spectrum Ludington, “All but one person.”
His two hospitals are the two hospitals servicing Mason and Oceana County. He says system wide, the common denominator is vaccine rate.
“One of the ways we break it down is by the number of people that we have an acute care ventilators,” said Dostal, “98% of them are unvaccinated, that have COVID that are in our ICUs.”
This area has lower than average vaccine rates and that’s the main factor health experts are pointing to. Get the shot or get the virus.
“We all need to get some level of immunity for this to settle down,” said Morse, “Whether that’s getting vaccinated or getting infected, that’s where we have to get,”