MI seeing some of the worst outbreak numbers in nation

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Health officials highlighted the major spike of coronavirus cases and deaths in Michigan during a press briefing Wednesday.

Dr. Sarah Lyon-Callo, the director of the Bureau of Epidemiology and Population Health at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, says the state is now ranked near the worst in the country when it comes to outbreak numbers.

Michigan is now the sixth in the country in new cases, fifth in new deaths and 10th for hospitalizations.

Lyon-Callo says health officials are expecting to see a lot more deaths before the curve starts to flatten again.

“The mortality rate will continue to climb even if we begin to bring case rates down now because mortality rates tend to go up a couple weeks after the cases have increased,” Lyon-Callo said.

More than 15% of available inpatient beds are filled with COVID-19 patients, she noted.

Lyon-Callo says the positivity rate continues to increase statewide.

All regions in the state are above 9%. The Kalamazoo region has the highest positivity rate in the state at 15.1%. Health officials would like to see the rate to below 3% to indicate the virus is under control.

“Positivity is an early indicator our cases are going to increase,” Lyon-Callo said.

Lyon-Callo says testing had increased 89% but the positivity rate has increased by 290% in Michigan. She says that figure means the state needs to be testing more people.

The update comes the same day new restrictions issued by MDHHS go into effect. Under the epidemic order, restaurants must halt dine-in services, movie theaters must close, high school sports are suspended, high schools and colleges will shift to remote learning, and social gatherings should be limited to no more than two households.

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