Leelanau News and Events

Nearly 80 Percent Of Residents With First COVID Vaccine Dose In Benzie-Leelanau; Cases On Rise In Region

Nov. 19, 2021

The Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department (BLDHD) reports Thursday (Nov. 18) it has reached 79 percent of residents 16 years and older in its two-county jurisdiction with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, in nearly one week 14.8 percent of children aged 5 to 11 have received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Dr. Josh Meyerson, BLDHD Medical Director, notes that despite reaching high vaccination rates, cases have continued to increase throughout the region. 

“Even with 79 percent vaccination rates in persons 16 and older, there are still many susceptible individuals and a circulating strain (Delta) that is highly contagious and spreads more easily than the original strain. Given the contagiousness of the virus it is unlikely that we will reach a level of immunity that will lead to elimination of this virus in the next few years,” said Meyerson.

From October 4  to November 7, 2021, the Health Department reported 482 total cases of COVID-19 in Benzie and Leelanau County. The majority of the reported cases, hospitalizations, and deaths during this timeframe were unvaccinated.

To view additional data from this five-week period, view the October 4 to November 7 Case Trend Summary located on the Health Department website.

“Being vaccinated reduces your risk of infection but more importantly greatly reduces your risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death due to this virus. Most reported cases are in unvaccinated individuals, and over 90 percent of those currently hospitalized in our ICU’s are unvaccinated,” he said.

Health Department officials reiterate that vaccination is the best way to reduce an individual’s risk of contracting COVID-19 well as the best method of reducing the impact of COVID-19 in our community. Anyone who receives a first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine through tomorrow, November 19, will be considered fully vaccinated by Christmas Eve.

The health department offers COVID-19 vaccination clinics for all area residents and visitors 12 and older by appointment ahead of time. Parent consent is required for minors. A list of additional local providers that are offering COVID-19 vaccines can be found on the health department’s website.  

Latest COVID-19 Case Counts:

The Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department reports

• On Tuesday, November 16, 48 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Benzie (28) and Leelanau (20), and one new COVID-19 associated death in Leelanau County.
• On Wednesday, November 17, 51 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Benzie (22) and Leelanau (29), and one new COVID-19 associated death in Leelanau County.
• Today, November 18, 41 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Benzie (21) and Leelanau (20), and two new COVID-19 associated deaths in Benzie (1) and Leelanau (1).

As of 4pm Thursday November 18, the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department is reporting:

• Total COVID-19 cases in the following counties: Benzie– 1,911, Leelanau– 1,962
• Active COVID-19 cases in the following counties: Benzie– 302, Leelanau– 326
• Recovered COVID-19 cases in the following counties: Benzie– 1,571, Leelanau– 1,612
• Confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the following counties: Benzie – 38, Leelanau– 24
• Hospitalized: 238 total; 21 currently

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