‘We are seeing a plateau of cases’: Michigan COVID-19 numbers decreasing in 7 of 8 regions

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

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun speaks at a news conference Aug. 5, 2020. (WDIV)

LANSING, Mich. – The number of new daily coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Michigan is starting to plateau, and there are some positive trends in seven of the eight geographical regions, the state’s top health official said.

“We are seeing a plateau of cases,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said Wednesday during a press briefing with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Khaldun said the Detroit, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo regions are still seeing over 40 cases per million people per day, but there has been a steady decrease in those regions over the last two or three weeks.

In the Jackson and Upper Peninsula regions, officials are reporting about 35 cases per million people per day. That rate has been decreasing for one or two weeks.

The Saginaw and Lansing regions have both dropped below 30 cases per million people per day. The Saginaw Region has seen a decrease over the past week.

The Lansing Region is the only region that has seen a recent increase, according to Khaldun. It has seen a two-week increase in the rate of cases, she said.

Khaldun said the Traverse City Region is under 10 cases per million people per day and has been decreasing over the past three weeks.

“These plateauing trends are not reason to let our guard down,” Khaldun said.

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.”

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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.