Michigan’s updated COVID-19 metrics show ‘slowing of progress we were making’

Positivity rate jumps to 9.6%

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun at a Jan. 6, 2021, COVID-19 briefing.
Dr. Joneigh Khaldun at a Jan. 6, 2021, COVID-19 briefing. (WDIV)

LANSING, Mich. – After weeks of moving in the right direction, Michigan’s most critical COVID-19 metrics suggest a “slowing of progress,” according to the state’s top health official.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, updated the state’s top three COVID-19 metrics during Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Wednesday briefing.

READ: 6 takeaways from Gov. Whitmer’s COVID briefing

Michigan’s case rate is now at 237 COVID-19 per million people, according to Khladun. Geographically, that number ranges from 198 cases per million in the Traverse City Region to 342 cases per million in the Jackson Region.

The case rate had been on a clear decline for 46 days, but has started to plateau, Khaldun said. Despite that long stretch of decline, the case rate is still much higher than medical experts hoped.

Perhaps the most alarming statistic from Wednesday’ update is the positivity rate, which has risen from 8.2% on Dec. 27 to 9.6%.

MORE: Michigan moves to new phase of COVID vaccinations -- teachers, first responders, residents over 65

“We also know that over the holidays, the number of tests being done across the state also went down,” Khaldun said.

The number of inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients in Michigan is down to 12.6%, Khaldun said. It was at 19.6% as of Dec. 4.

“Overall, I am concerned that we may be seeing a slowing of progress we were making before the holidays,” Khaldun said. “We will continue to track these metrics. Everyone still needs to play their part.”

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Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.