DETROIT – We’ve explained what the state health department details is a tedious process when it comes to tallying coronavirus recovery numbers. Right now, the state only reports recoveries weekly.
One top lawmaker says that’s not enough considering we get coronavirus (COVID-19) death and case numbers every day. He believes that data is crucial in the fight against COVID in Michigan.
Several states of different sizes and varying coronavirus case numbers provide daily coronavirus recovery numbers. Michigan does not and some are calling on the state to give the public the full picture of how coronavirus is affecting our state.
"They deserve the data,” said Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives, Lee Chatfield. “They deserve these facts and this is something that we're calling on the Whitmer administration to release to us on a daily basis.
Chatfield, wants daily coronavirus recovery numbers. Coronavirus case and death numbers are released on a daily basis but recovery numbers, which are much higher, are only released once a week on Saturdays.
"We need to know on a daily basis how many people are recovering because that will help us make more informed decisions," he added. "This is something that we have been seeking for from the administration. We've wanted additional data. We've wanted transparency."
“Staff reviews death certificate data, compared against all laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Michigan Disease Surveillance System," a state health department spokesperson said.
There are some delays as some funeral directors do not file these electronically.
“This takes some time to process. Increasing the frequency of the analysis would not yield any greater informative content...we do not have the staffing to accomplish it on a daily basis,” the spokesperson said.
"I think we need to devote whatever amount of time is needed to get the people of our state the information that they need," said Chatfield.
"I do think they're important,” said Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “I think that they're important so that people can see that there is good happening. That getting COVID-19 is not necessarily a death sentence. I do think it's important to have those numbers and we'll continue to work to get them."
Michigan's first coronavirus case was on March 10th, more than two months ago. Today's numbers show Michigan has more than 54,000 cases and more than five thousand deaths. The more than 33,000 recoveries are still only updated once a week from this past Saturday.
“We're having many people in Michigan and across the country recover from this virus on a daily basis and people in our state need hope," said Chatfield.
Legislators have now created a special oversight committee.
“As a coronavirus survivor myself these recovery numbers are important because the provide hope in knowing that this virus can be beaten,” said Local 4’s Evrod Cassimy.
Chatfield has offered to partner with the governor and added that if they need help tallying daily recovery numbers the legislature would be happy to provide it. There’s no word on if they’ll take on that additional help.