As rates of COVID-19 cases continue to rise, some people think rural areas are better off than bigger cities.
That might not be the case.
As of March 30th, there are 79,000 people in Clinton County and 20 confirmed cases according to the county. That’s one more case than what is being reported by the state.
“People in rural Michigan think, oh this is a southeast Michigan thing. It’s not about us, but I realized for at least Clinton county, it really is.” Said Marcus Cheatham, Health Official with the Mid-Michigan Health Department.
Cheatam says Clinton County’s coronavirus cases are higher than Ingham County’s.
“We have a third of the cases that Ingham does, but we also have a third of the population. It turns out these 2 counties maybe .2 or .25% of the population has a known case of COVID.” Cheatham said.
Officials say they are pretty confident they know where the first virus popped up in the county.
“We had a few students that studied abroad and brought it back with them,” Cheatham said.
The virus is continuing to spread and Cheatam is worried people are not taking it seriously.
“People are going to the store, they are going about their normal business and they don’t realize it. But they are just coming in contact with people who already have it because it is out there in the community.”Cheatham said.
There is only one hospital in Clinton County and that could be adding to the problem.
“The farther away from health care, the less frequently people access it,” Cheatham said.
The Health Department is encouraging everyone to do their part in slowing the spread of the virus.
The Health Department is encouraging everyone to do their part.
“It’s about staying home, it’s about only essential workers in essential businesses going to work. and you have to be social distancing at work.” Cheatham said.