Genesee County, MI— Since last week, Genesee County’s COVID-19 positivity rate increased from 5.8% to 11.7%, a trend that is consistent with the state. The increase is driven by people 19 and younger, according to a recent report by the Flint Center for Health Equity Solutions.
“There are many factors contributing to this trend, including team sports and face-to-face learning. This is especially concerning as more schools return to in-person learning and new guidelines from the CDC allow for three-feet of social distancing in classrooms instead of six, despite the fact that 40% of schools lack efficient ventilation systems critical to reducing COVID transmission.” the report stated.
Flint Schools reopened March 15. There have not yet been any reported classroom-related cases, but Southwestern Academy has suspended all varsity and junior varsity basketball games after the district learned an individual on an opposing team had tested positive for COIVD-19 March 16.
To combat the rise in youth positivity rates, the Flint Center for Health Equity Solutions offered the following suggestions:
- Allocate the $841 million of federal funds earmarked for K-12 schools, which are currently being withheld in Lansing
- Continue to fund rapid tests for sports teams as restrictions are being “prematurely lifted.”
The report also noted that Michigan ranks second in COVID variant cases. Data on these cases has yet to be released, said Debra Furr-Holden, director of the Flint Center for Health Equity Solutions and associate dean for Public Health Integration at Michigan State University.
At present, 28% of Genesee County’s total population have received their first vaccine dose.
Residents can now call to schedule a vaccine appointment with the Genesee County Health Department at 810-344-4800.
A list of vaccine locations in Flint and Genesee County can be found here.