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Governor Whitmer’s report on COVID-19 in Michigan

News

Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Orders 2020-183, which amends the MI Safe Start order to reopen movie theaters and performance venues and 2020-185, which requires face coverings for students in grades K-5.

That’s due in part to Michigan’s actions taken against COVID-19 that have enabled the state to move further ahead than other states during the pandemic.

Here’s an overlook of how Michigan is doing compared to other states.

Michigan is in the orange zone for cases, indicating between 51 and 100 new cases per 100,000 population last week, with the 39th highest rate in the country.

Looking at deaths, Michigan ranks no.11 among states for most COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 people at 70.

Throughout the pandemic, Michigan’s Black community has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Black people in Michigan account for 40% of COVID-19 deaths in the state despite only accounting for 14% of the state population.

Current state data show that for approximately 1,500 Black people per million die from coronavirus compared to about 500 white people per million, showing that Black people are dying at three times the rate of white people in Michigan.

Michigan is in the green zone for test positivity, indicating a rate at or below 4.9%, with the 37th highest rate in the country.

Michigan has seen a decrease in new cases and stability in test positivity over the last week.

The following three counties had the highest number of new cases over the last 3 weeks: 1. Wayne County, 2. Oakland County, and 3. Macomb County. These three counties have consistently ranked in the top three counties for COVID-19 in Michigan. In fact, at the beginning of the pandemic, these three counties accounted for more than 77 percent of all COVID-19 cases in Michigan. They are also the state’s most populous counties.

These counties now represent 39.5% of new cases in Michigan. Several counties in the western Upper Peninsula showed high and increasing incidence.

6% of all counties in Michigan have moderate or high levels of community transmission (yellow, orange, or red zones), with none having high levels of community transmission (red zone).

A number of the counties with the highest transmission rates are home to universities: Ingham (Michigan State), Houghton (Michigan Tech), Ottawa (Grand Valley State University). Social gatherings at fraternities, sororities, and off-campus housing have been risk factors.

On August 25, the health department announced a new COVID-19 outbreak reporting feature, which allows the public to view new sites of coronavirus outbreaks.

Recently, Michigan State University has been the center of attention for new coronavirus cases as students moved back to off-campus housing for the fall semester.

What’s more staggering is the amount of student athletes testing positive for the coronavirus. MSU Athletics reported 8% of its student athletes are COVID-19 positive.

To date, MSU conducted 369 COVID-19 PCR tests from September 15-21 on student-athletes and staff members — 328 student-athletes were tested, with 30 testing positive. Forty-one staff members were tested, with two positive tests.

Daily check-ins with athletic training staff will continue for COVID-19 positive students while they remain in isolation. MSU Athletics will require further testing and physician follow-ups prior to returning to any level of workouts.

During the week of Sep 7 -Sep 13, 5% of nursing homes had at least one new resident COVID-19 case, 12% had at least one new staff COVID-19 case, and 1% had at least one new resident COVID-19 death.

There has been speculation throughout the pandemic regarding the accuracy of the state’s COVID-19 reporting for nursing homes.

In West Michigan, coronavirus killed 11 elederly residents at Clark at Keller Lake.

But as WOOD-TV 8 reported, that number won’t show up on the state’s list of nursing home deaths, which is updated daily.

That’s because Clark at Keller Lake is an adult foster care home for the elderly, and the state has yet to release any numbers for those kinds of facilities.

While the state on July 28 reported 2,002 COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes, nobody knows how many have died at the thousands of other facilities for the elderly, including adult foster care homes and homes for the aged.

Starting September 15, people in Michigan could begin to visit their family members and loved ones in outdoor spaces of nursing home facilities following the epidemic order issued by the  Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

Facilities must meet criteria specified in the order, including having had no new COVID-19 cases originate there within the previous 14 days.

To allow visitation, the facilities must, among other things:

  • Permit visits by appointment only.
  • Limit the number of visitors during each scheduled visit to two people or less.
  • Exclude visitors who cannot or will not wear a face covering during the entire visit.
  • Require visitors to maintain social distancing.
  • Limit the number of overall visitors at the facility at any given time based upon space limitations, infection control capacity and other appropriate factors to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
  • Prohibit visits to residents who are in isolation or under observation for symptoms of COVID-19.

Michigan had 52 new cases per 100,000 population in the last week, compared to a national average of 86 per 100,000.

Current staff deployed from the federal government as assets to support the state response are: 10 to support operations activities from FEMA; 7 to support operations activities from USCG; and 1 to support operations activities from VA.

Between Sept 12 -Sept 18, on average, 48 patients with confirmed COVID-19 and 114 patients with suspected COVID-19 were reported as newly admitted each day to hospitals in Michigan. An average of 95% of hospitals reported either new confirmed or new suspected COVID patients each day during this period.

For the latest updates on COVID-19 in Michigan, visit WLNS.com daily for the state’s newest case numbers or check Michigan.gov/coronavirus

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