Everything to know about COVID in Michigan before Gov. Whitmer’s live update (Jan. 6)

Whitmer to hold COVID-19 briefing at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Dec. 29, 2020, COVID-19 briefing

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will provide an update Wednesday on the state’s handling of COVID-19.

Click here to watch her full briefing live, starting at 1:30 p.m..

Here’s everything you should know about COVID-19 in Michigan before the briefing begins.

500,000 cases

Michigan surpassed 500,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Monday, then added another 2,291 cases and 189 deaths Tuesday.

The state totals are up to 504,410 confirmed cases and 12,867 virus-related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Though the case rate, percent positivity and hospitalization rate have all been trending steadily downward in Michigan for weeks, the metrics overall are still much higher than officials would like.

COVID-19 order

Michigan is currently under an order issued by the Department of Health and Human Services until Jan. 15. Under that order, certain segments of the economy, such as indoor dining at restaurants and serving concessions at entertainment venues, are banned.

TIMELINE: How COVID trends have actually changed since Michigan issued, extended, revised order

MDHHS Director Robert Gordon said the fundamental goals of the order are to eliminate putting people from different households in the same place and to avoid people removing their masks near others.

That’s why certain types of services, such as indoor dining, have been shut down. Gordon said allowing people to congregate inside and take off their masks to eat significantly increases the risk of spreading the virus.

Lifting restrictions?

Whitmer said before Christmas that the state would “seriously consider” lifting restrictions early, but so far, the order has remained the same since revisions went into effect Dec. 21.

The governor made those comments citing promising results from the Thanksgiving holiday, when Michigan avoided what was expected to be a spike caused by increased gatherings and travel.

Whitmer said state officials wanted to see continued progress in the numbers before lifting more restrictions, but didn’t reveal specific thresholds that need to be met.

As always, the case, positivity and hospitalization rates are important numbers to watch in this regard, as well as mobility around the holidays.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.