Health Officials “fully expect” a second wave of COVID-19 in the coming months

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INGHAM COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS)– Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said she “fully expects” a second wave of COVID-19 and is urging urge everyone to continue following health and safety guidelines.

During a weekly Coronavirus health update Tuesday afternoon, Vail said since there is no cure or vaccine to prevent the virus, a second wave is predicted to hit in the coming months.

“It is basically a matter of how bad is that second wave gonna get,” Vail said.

She added, the prediction is based on historical trends stemming from other influenzas.

“You’re talking about a virus that we really haven’t been able to predict all the time since the beginning of this, so we’re basing, you know, the second wave on the fact that that’s what we’ve seen with influenzas. Especially influenza pandemics and as far as when that second wave might be, you know, we base that on what we typically see with respiratory illnesses and when that season tends to spike up,” Vail said.

When Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Orders on COVID-19 were overturned, it caused state and local health departments to jump into action. Even after issuing emergency orders to keep certain health protections in place, Vail said some people are still confused about what’s required and what’s not.

“I think it’s gonna take us a little bit of time to get people back to where they realize that these orders really truly are in place. There really truly are orders that are in effect and they are required. They aren’t the orders that were overturned by the supreme court,” she explained.

But even as health officials work to get that message across, there’s another issue to tackle.

“We’re back on the enforcement thing. Enforcement was always, quite honestly, had always been a challenge,” Vail said.

Now, it’s not only a matter of making sure everyone understands the rules… but that people follow them, which Vail said has been difficult for more than just the local health departments.

“Even at the state level, state agencies are kind of a little bit on pause with what the state is directing them to do with regards to enforcement,” she said.

Michigan recorded the highest number of cases since mid-March on Tuesday. Vail said people can help to slow those numbers by following these five guidelines.

“Wear a mask, socially distance, don’t have large indoor gatherings, don’t have large outdoor gatherings, and wash your hands, and quite honestly if we could all just make a pact with each other to do those 5 things, we wouldn’t even need a whole lot of orders requiring people to do things or not do things or whatever,” she said.

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