By Jessica Mathews /

Local health officials are urging community members to work together to help stop the spread of COVID-19 as cases continue to spike.

The Livingston County Health Department recently reported that cases have dramatically increased, particularly over the last couple of weeks. It’s a trend that’s occurring both statewide and nationally. The Department found that locally the increase in cases is likely due to continued community transmission and small group gatherings, among adults. Health Promotion Coordinator Natasha Radke says this time though they’re finding the increase is with older adults aged 50-60; rather than previously this summer when the increase in cases was associated with younger adults. As of Friday, there were 1,633 confirmed cases, 292 probable cases, 137 hospitalizations and 33 deaths.

Radke tells WHMI Livingston County continues to be in the second highest risk level, as defined on the MI Safe Start Dashboard, which is where the county has been for a little while now. Radke says the positivity rate is the percentage of all COVID-19 tests performed that are actually positive and current local rate is at 6.1% - which has almost doubled in the past two weeks alone. She says it’s also higher than the state, which has a positivity rate of 4.9% - so it’s something they want to highlight and have people keep in mind.

Due to the increase in cases and the local positivity rate, Radke says it’s especially important as we head into the colder months and holiday season that the community work together to reduce the risk of getting or spreading COVID-19. She stressed Livingston County has been successful in flattening the curve previously and it can be done again. Radke says it all goes back to those preventive measures everyone is familiar with now such as wearing a mask, social distancing and hand washing.

More information about the recent increase in cases is available on the Health Department’s website. That link is provided, along with an attached press release and weekly trend report.