Gov. Whitmer provides update on Michigan COVID response

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks at a press conference in Lansing on Dec. 18, 2020. (Office of Governor Gretchen Whitmer)

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer held a news briefing Friday morning to provide an update on the state’s coronavirus pandemic response.

The live stream for this event has ended.

UPDATE: Michigan increases outdoor stadium capacity, requires COVID testing for youth sports

The governor’s remarks come just after she spoke from Ford Field Thursday with Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist to discuss the new vaccination site and the state’s goal to vaccinate as many Michiganders as possible.

Ford Field was selected by the CDC as a mass vaccination site that will be open from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. seven days per week for eight weeks. Officials say the site has the capacity to administer 6,000 doses to residents in Southeast Michigan every day.

Learn more: Registration for COVID-19 vaccine at Ford Field now open -- How to register

Beginning March 8, the state of Michigan expanded vaccine eligibility to individuals 50 and older with medical conditions, in addition to caregiver family members and guardians age 16 and older of children who have special health care needs. Starting Monday, March 22, individuals who are 50 years old and up, and individuals who are 16 years old and older who have disabilities and/or medical conditions will be eligible for the vaccine.

Michigan COVID-19 vaccinations: How to find appointments, info on phases

On Thursday, the state of Michigan reported 2,629 new virus cases and 25 new deaths (including 24 from a vital records review), totaling 618,421 overall cases and 15835 deaths. Over the last few weeks, the state has seen a slight increase in daily new COVID-19 cases.

Coronavirus testing has been steady at around 35,000 diagnostic tests reported per day on average, with the 7-day positive rate above 6.5% as of Thursday. The state has reported a slight up-tick in hospitalizations over the last three weeks.

Michigan’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 2,149 on Thursday -- the highest since early January. The 7-day death average was 16 on Thursday. The state’s fatality rate is 2.6%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 45,900 on Thursday -- near the lowest it’s been since the end of October. More than 556,000 have recovered from the virus in Michigan.

Related: Michigan has highest COVID infection rate in US, data shows

Michigan has reported more than 3.3 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered as of Thursday, with 26% of residents having received at least one dose.

New: How to schedule COVID vaccine appointment at CVS in Michigan

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.