Michigan Gov. Whitmer to hold COVID news conference

Governor, health chief to discuss state’s efforts to slow virus

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer holds a COVID-19 news conference Jan. 22, 2021. (WDIV)

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is planning to hold a news conference Friday morning to provide an update on Michigan’s efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Whitmer will be joined by Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun.

Earlier this week, a state epidemiologist took a deep dive into Michigan’s COVID-19 numbers, including the new variant of the virus, an update on vaccinations and how the critical metrics look overall.

Sarah Lyon-Callo, the Director of the Bureau of Epidemiology and Population Health at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, spoke Tuesday in the form of a virtual presentation and Q&A. Khaldun and MDHHS Director Robert Gordon both participated in the Q&A portion at the end of the presentation, addressing restaurants, vaccines and the possibility of new restrictions triggered by the variant.

“I think the governor has said, and we said last week, that the plan was, if trends continued in the same direction, to allow for the reopening of indoor dining on Feb. 1,” Gordon said. “I think the trends have continued and that continues to be the plan right now.”

Gordon said the state has made tremendous gains because of the MDHHS pause, so the target date for reopening restaurants remains Feb. 1.

“While restaurants will be reopening on that date, there will continue to be risk associated with indoor dining and we will be talking about that more on Friday,” Gordon said.

UPDATE: Michigan restaurants can officially reopen Feb. 1 with curfew, other COVID safety restrictions

Read more: 114 takeaways after Michigan officials discuss COVID variant, recent trends, restaurants reopening

Coronavirus infections slowing in Michigan amid ongoing ‘third wave,’ data shows

Michigan’s risk for a coronavirus outbreak has recently decreased -- but has not altogether vanished -- nearly one month into the new year, according to data from Covid Act Now.

A screenshot of Covid Act Now's map of the U.S. with states color-coded according to their "Covid Risk Level." Michigan is labeled as "at risk" of a COVID outbreak, while most other states are considered to be experiencing an "active or imminent outbreak," according to data. Photo courtesy of Covid Act Now's website. -- Jan. 21, 2020 (Covid Act Now)

The state of Michigan is now labeled as “high” risk for a coronavirus outbreak by Covid Act Now -- a group of technologists, epidemiologists, health experts and public policy leaders that monitors and identifies each state’s risk level for a COVID-19 outbreak.

At the beginning of 2021, Michigan -- like much of the country -- was considered to be experiencing an “active or imminent outbreak,” which is a “critical” risk level. As of Thursday, Jan. 21, the state’s risk level has decreased due to fewer new COVID-19 cases reported each day, as the remainder of the country continues to struggle with virus spread.

Read more here.

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