Here are the 5 goals Michigan has to reach before COVID-19 restrictions are loosened

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun says daily cases per million population dropping in most of state

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at her Aug. 5, 2020, coronavirus (COVID-19) briefing. (WDIV)

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan’s top medical official listed five goals the state needs to reach before coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions are loosened.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the chief medical executive and chief deputy director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, revealed Wednesday that there are positive signs in the state’s recent COVID-19 numbers.

“We are seeing a plateau of cases,” Khaldun said.

She noted the case rates per person are down in seven of Michigan’s eight geographical regions, excluding the Lansing Region.

  • Detroit, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo regions: Steady decrease over the last two or three weeks.
  • Jackson and Upper Peninsula regions: Decrease for one or two weeks.
  • Saginaw Region: Decrease over the past week.
  • Traverse City Region: Decrease over the past three weeks.
  • Lansing Region: Two-week increase in rate of cases.

5 goals to move forward

Khaldun and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer were asked how long the state needs to stay in the plateau of cases before they’re willing to loosen some of the restrictions.

Here are the five specific goals Khaldun listed:

  1. Get the state under 10 cases per million people per day.
  2. Decrease the percent of positive tests at least below 3% and maintain it for some time.
  3. Maintain a low hospitalization rate.
  4. Maintain a low death rate.
  5. Make sure testing capacity is what it needs to be to keep cases under control.

“There are many things that we’re looking at to determine how we move forward with the phases across the state,” Khaldun said.

Michigan appears to be moving in the right direction, especially in terms of Nos. 2-5.

She said Michigan is holding steady at around 28,000 tests per day, and the percentage of tests that come back positive are tending downward -- now at 3.4% as opposed to 3.7% the previous week.

“Hospitalizations and deaths continue to remain steady and low, particularly at the deaths,” Khaldun said. “These are all good signs, and we will continue to monitor these metrics. But as we all know, even if a trend is stabilizing, it only takes a few people to create an outbreak and have the disease spread rapidly.”

More coverage

Here’s much more recent coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whitmer’s handling of pandemic:

Reopening Michigan:

Health questions, advice:



Individual stories:


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.