The number of COVID-19 cases in each and every age group in Livingston County has more than doubled in just four weeks. The number of total COVID-19 cases in the county rose 160% in November for a total of just over 5,700 cases.
And we are all bracing for what could be a dismal Christmas season after what is expected to be a surge after the Thanksgiving holiday, and with good reason: Livingston County’s numbers in November were dismal.
The brightest spot for Livingston County was in the youngest age group, which saw the smallest percentage increase, even though the number of cases more than doubled: We started November with 367 confirmed cases for those 0-19; we ended the month with a 106% increase, for a total of 756 cases.
The rest of the increases were significantly higher, and the number of cases in two age groups — those 30-39 and 40-49 — came close to tripling in just one month.
At St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Hospital in Howell, there are currently 12 COVID-19 patients undergoing treatment.
COVID-19 deaths in Livingston County rose 38% for a total of 47 on Dec. 1.
Reducing the impact of COVID-19 and the flu on our community is possible. Winter is here, and we are spending most of our time indoors and entering the holiday season, we are sharing guidelines issued by the Livingston County Health Department:
Gatherings, especially those with non-household members, pose a greater risk because of increased exposure to others.
If you choose to attend or host a gathering, consider the following factors:
• Higher levels of COVID-19 cases in an area could indicate increased community spread.
• Indoor spaces tend to have poor air circulation in the winter because it is difficult to open windows and bring in fresh air.
• The duration of the gathering. Longer exposure time increases risk.
• The number of people at the gathering. Socializing with people from outside your household increases risk.
• The locations that attendees are traveling from.
• Events that revolve around sharing meals or dining space and consuming alcohol can increase risky behaviors, such as not following social distancing and forgetting to wear a mask.
Gatherings with more preventive measures in place, such as mask wearing, social distancing, and hand washing, pose less risk than gatherings where fewer or no preventive measures are implemented.
LCHD is asking residents to work together to reduce the risk of getting or spreading both COVID-19 and flu this season:
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and immediately wash or sanitize your hands.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.