Despite a spike in new COVID cases and positive tests, Michigan remains in the post-surge phase of the pandemic cycle, according to state officials.
The state has averaged about 3,096 confirmed cases per day over the past week, a significant change from the 639 cases per day reported in early February. The positive test rates have also more than doubled during this time.
However, it is the reduced severity of cases and their impact on the state’s health systems and other critical infrastructure that has kept Michigan in the recovery phase, explained Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, the state’s acting chief medical officer.
“No. 1 We’re not seeing a strong spike in cases like some of our earlier waves,” she said. “If you compare our case numbers now to the case numbers in some of those earlier waves, we’re nowhere near as bad as some of those waves. “
State health officials are also reviewing the severity of cases, Bagdasarian said.
“Our hospitals aren’t telling us they’re overwhelmed across the board,” she said. “And when we look at data on COVID patients in intensive care units and on ventilators, we don’t see any increase in those numbers, nor any increase in deaths.”
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is investigating community transmission of the coronavirus in three pandemic phases. They include:
- answer – Local and state public health systems implement rapid response to surge. The public can be advised to step up masks, testing and social distancing.
- Restoration – Post Surge. No immediate resurgence predicted. Local and state public health will monitor conditions that could lead to future surges.
- standby – Cases are expected to increase, impacting disease severity and hospital capacity. Increased communication with the public about possible new risks.
Michigan has been in the recovery phase since early March, when the number of daily cases fell below 850 after peaking at over 5,000 in January. New cases started rising again in early April. Through May 18, the daily average (3,675) was the highest it had been since mid-February.
The last wave has lasted about seven weeks and there are already signs that it is slowing. Over the past week, average daily cases fell from 3,675 to 3,096. It remains to be seen whether this trend will continue.
Related: Is this COVID wave ending? Michigan COVID data for Thursday May 26th
As of Wednesday, May 25, Michigan hospitals were treating 1,072 patients with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19. Among them, 112 were in intensive care and 39 on ventilators.
For context, as of Jan. 10, the state had hospitalized about 5,000 COVID patients, with about 860 in intensive care units and 540 on ventilators.
“We are not currently experiencing, and are not expecting, any significant disruption in healthcare, in our correctional facilities, in our schools, in our grocery stores,” Bagdasarian said. “But we’re constantly making sure we’re on the lookout for those signals and for a spike that could affect those parts of society that would lead to a transition to preparedness.”
Models the state is following project that surge will peak in the near term before cases begin to trend downward again for the remainder of the summer. However, Bagdasarian said they also predict a more significant increase in the fall and winter.
“Recovery, again, does not mean going on with our lives as if the pandemic didn’t exist,” she said. “Recovery means things are still relatively safer than they were at some of our worst times… We are advising people to continue to follow CDC recommendations and the recommendations of the local Department of Health.”
According to the CDC, there are 22 counties in Michigan with high community transmission rates and 30 counties with intermediate levels. High transmission counties are advised to wear masks indoors and these include Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Crawford, Delta, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Livingston, Luce, Mackinac, Macomb, Marquette, Monroe, Oakland, Otsego , Presque Isle , Schoolcraft, St Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne.
To see how the CDC rated your county, check out the interactive map below. Tap or hover over a county to see underlying data.
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