Is Michigan seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases?

Michigan COVID-19 data trend as of June 16, 2020.
Michigan COVID-19 data trend as of June 16, 2020. (WDIV)

DETROIT – The short answer is no, but here’s what’s happening:

If you watched any national news coverage of recent virus spikes around the country, you may have been caught off guard seeing Michigan mentioned.

The truth is virus cases have remained slower in the state and deaths have plummeted in recent weeks. Hospitalizations have not increased.

Here’s a look at the data in Michigan:

There is nothing to show a new spike or trend in the wrong direction. The confusion can likely be drawn to simple math. If Michigan has one day with 60 cases, and then another with 180, percentage-wise that’s a spike.

At its peak at the beginning of April, Michigan was reporting more than 1,500 cases a day. For comparison, the state reported 74 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, June 15, and has not had a daily case count of more than 300 since May 31.

NEW June 16, 2020: Michigan reports 125 new cases and 18 additional deaths

But on the ground, we know Michigan labs aren’t consistent in reporting through the week. We know that day-to-day data isn’t very reliable when looking for a trend.

Bottom line: By all key indications, Michigan is not seeing a spike right now. But that doesn’t mean we won’t see a spike at some point in the future. We’re tracking the cases every day, as we have been since March.

Meanwhile, the state of Michigan is slowly reopening in phases. It has been about three months since the state began shutting down due to the pandemic.

The state’s stay-at-home order went into effect on March 23 and was lifted June 1. Michigan is now reopening in phases. Restaurants and retail businesses have been allowed to resume under safety restrictions. People can gather outside in groups of up to 100 people. Outdoor fitness classes and athletic events are allowed, as long as social distancing practices are followed.

ClickOnDetroit has been tracking the daily cases growth factor in Michigan, too. The graph above (or view here) is showing the daily growth factor, which is every day’s new cases divided by new cases on the previous day.

According to Worldometers, which specializes in these types of charts, a growth factor above 1 indicates an increase, while one which remains between 0 and 1 it is a sign of decline, with the quantity eventually becoming zero, while a growth factor constantly above 1 could signal exponential growth.

Michigan’s daily case count has been fluctuating back and forth. As we stated, some days you will see a sharp increase in cases from the previous day’s case count. However, that’s not indicating the long-term trend which shows the state on a steady decline in cases since the end of April.

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