Battle Creek and Kalamazoo are among more than a handful of Michigan metropolitan areas that are the nation’s top hotpots for the COVID-19 virus. That's the assessment from the New York Times. A weekend report in the Times indicates Battle Creek is ranked 8th on its nationwide list of new virus cases reported, balanced against the metro area population. New York City, for example, is ranked 7th. The Kalamazoo – Portage metro area is ranked not far behind at 11th. Number one on that list – Jackson – Michigan. And in descending order, 6 more Michigan metro areas listed as those experiencing the highest rate of new cases based on population. Detroit – Flint – Monroe – Lansing – and, Owosso.

The Times admits that fluctuations in rates of testing has a lot to do with the rankings. And statisticians almost always admit that when you significantly increase testing, chances are, you’re going to find more of what you’re looking for.

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Calhoun County leaders initiated a survey last week surrounding perceptions about the new COVID-19 vaccines. They’re hoping to learn as much as possible about why people are hesitant or simply do not want to get vaccinated.  The County Public Health Department continues to say the best way to avoid the virus, and help prevent its spread, is to get vaccinated.

And according to the Times, maybe Battle Creek residents need to listen. Its weekend report lists the metro area in the top 20 nationwide for the potential of an ongoing increase in new cases. Battle Creek is ranked by the Times as 15th out of the top 20 metro areas nationwide facing a surge in numbers. 15 of the cities in that Times top 20 list are in Michigan. Monroe, Michigan, in the metro Detroit area, is ranked as number one Unlike the earlier list, the Kalamazoo – Portage metro area does not rank on this list.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.