New tool shows Michiganders where their region is in Gov. Whitmer’s reopening plan, and why

Dashboard breaks down risks, trends for Michigan regions, counties

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a new interactive dashboard tool on May 26, 2020. (WDIV)

LANSING, Mich. – A new dashboard tool is allowing Michigan residents to check how far along their region is in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s reopening plan, an explanation for those decisions and coronavirus (COVID-19) risk factors for each area.

Earlier this month, Whitmer revealed a six-phase plan for fully reopening the state of Michigan. The plan outlined what the state has to accomplish in order to reach new stages of normalcy, such as resuming retail or reopening restaurants and bars.

READ: Here’s how all 83 Michigan counties are divided into regions in Whitmer’s reopening plan

Whitmer announced Tuesday that the state has made available a new online dashboard with the goal of answering some common questions from residents:

  • What phase of reopening is my region in?
  • Why is my region stuck in that phase?
  • What are specific risk factors in my area?

The University of Michigan worked with state agencies to develop the dashboard, which is divided into the eight regions designated in the reopening plan.

Click here to visit the new dashboard tool.

First of all, the dashboard shows which of the six phases each region is in. As of Tuesday, May 26, regions six and eight are in the fourth stage, labeled as “medium risk.” In Whitmer’s reopening plan, that phase was dubbed the “Improving” phase.

The rest of the state is labeled as “medium-high risk” on the new dashboard, or “Flattening” in Whitmer’s six-phase plan.

UPDATE -- May 26, 2020: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 55,104; Death toll now at 5,266

The dashboard allows you to click on a specific region, and from there narrow the region down by county. Test results, new cases and deaths are available for each of these options, as well as public health capacity information.

All of that information is color coded to align with a specific phase of the reopening plan -- from dark red (uncontrolled growth) to dark blue (post-pandemic).

“The most important thing we can do right now is listen to the experts and follow the medical science,” Whitmer said. “Our first responders have put their lives on the line during this crisis, and we owe it to them to get this right. This dashboard will provide us with the data we need to assess risk in different regions of the state so we can re-engage our economy safely and deliberately, while working to minimize the risk of a second wave of infections. The whole goal here is to help ensure we keep more people healthy and out of hospitals.”

Graphs, numbers and trends provide a snapshot of how much virus is in a community, and whether it is increasing or decreasing.

Risk levels were developed by MDHHS and the U-M School of Public Health using guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, national Guidelines for Opening America and several other leading national organizations.

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.