Michigan health officials want COVID tests positivity rate to fall below 3%

State now under new COVID restrictions in effort to stop spread of virus

FILE - In this Nov. 11, 2020, file photo, Rachel Arden instructs a student on how to self-administer a rapid COVID-19 test at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. The U.S. has recorded about 10.3 million confirmed infections, with new cases soaring to all-time highs of well over 120,000 per day over the past week. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File) (Rick Bowmer, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Michigan health officials have repeatedly said the positivity rate of COVID-19 tests in the state needs to remain below 3% to show that the spread of the virus is under control.

As of this weekend, the state’s 7-day moving average for COVID tests positivity rate was 13.21%, far higher than where state health officials want it to be. Michigan’s COVID tests positivity rate has not been below 3% since early October.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer noted in an interview with Local 4 that the 3% benchmark will be important in deciding when to lift new COVID restrictions that go into effect this week. Whitmer said the positivity rate will have to fall below 3% during the three-week period of stricter measures to stop the spread before restrictions could be lifted.

On Saturday, Michigan reported 7,072 new COVID-19 cases and 65 additional deaths, bringing the state totals up to 251,813 cases and 7,994 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Michigan reported a single-day record 8,516 new cases Friday.