Morning Briefing Jan. 22, 2021: Whitmer COVID news conference, virus infections slowing in Michigan, February weather outlook

Here are this morning’s top stories

A screenshot of Covid Act Now's map of the U.S. with states color-coded according to their "Covid Risk Level." Michigan is labeled as "at risk" of a COVID outbreak, while most other states are considered to be experiencing an "active or imminent outbreak," according to data. Photo courtesy of Covid Act Now's website. -- Jan. 21, 2020 (Covid Act Now)

Whitmer to hold COVID news conference

The Michigan governor is holding an early Friday news conference to provide an update on Michigan’s efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Whitmer will be joined by Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun.

Coronavirus infections slowing in Michigan amid ongoing ‘third wave,’ data shows

Michigan’s risk for a coronavirus outbreak has recently decreased -- but has not altogether vanished -- nearly one month into the new year, according to data from Covid Act Now.

The state of Michigan is now labeled as “high” risk (see map above) for a coronavirus outbreak by Covid Act Now -- a group of technologists, epidemiologists, health experts and public policy leaders that monitors and identifies each state’s risk level for a COVID-19 outbreak.

At the beginning of 2021, Michigan -- like much of the country -- was considered to be experiencing an “active or imminent outbreak,” which is a “critical” risk level. As of Thursday, Jan. 21, the state’s risk level has decreased due to fewer new COVID-19 cases reported each day, as the remainder of the country continues to struggle with virus spread.

Michigan is one of only five states labeled as high risk for an outbreak, which is the orange color on Covid Act Now’s national map. Three states -- California, Arizona and South Carolina -- are colored maroon, meaning they are experiencing a “severe” coronavirus outbreak. All remaining states, except Hawaii, are colored crimson on the map, which is considered the critical risk level. Hawaii is labeled as experiencing “slow disease growth.”

Read more here.

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Weather outlook: Michigan trending milder for February 2021

From Paul Gross:

The Climate Prediction Center has Michigan trending warmer for the month of February 2021.

Michigan also is expected to see above average precipitation this February. Above average temperatures are expected to remain through April.

Above average precipitation also is expected through April in Michigan and the Great Lakes region.

Michigan weather outlook for February through April 2021 -- Climate Prediction Center (WDIV)

Coronavirus in Michigan 🦠

The latest data:

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 544,311 as of Thursday, including 14,053 deaths, state officials report.

Thursday’s update includes 2,165 new cases and 148 additional deaths, including 128 deaths identified during a review of records -- meaning they did not occur between Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday, the state reported a total of 542,146 cases and 13,905 deaths.

New COVID-19 cases have plateaued and deaths are starting to flatten. Testing has been steady with more than 40,000 diagnostic tests reported per day on average, with the 7-day positive rate average below 7%. Hospitalizations continue to decline over the last several weeks.

Michigan’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 1,977 on Wednesday, the lowest since October. The 7-day death average was 51 on Wednesday. The state’s fatality rate is 2.6%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 85,800 on Wednesday -- near the lowest it’s been since November.

Here’s a look at more of the data:

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