As COVID numbers show slight improvement hospitals still need help, Michigan’s top doctor says

State health department extends epidemic order through May 24

Dr. Khaldun: COVID numbers show slight improvement in Michigan, but hospitals still need help

DETROIT – Michigan has extended the COVID-19 order that implemented restrictions on gatherings, restaurants, entertainment venues and more.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has extended its epidemic order through May 24. It also expanded mask requirements to include children ages two to four years old. The extension kicked in Monday.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health in the MDHHS addressed some of these issues in an interview with Local 4 News.

“I will say I’m still concerned about the current test positivity rate, the current numbers of people who are in the hospital for COVID-19. But, what we are seeing now over the past several days, the trend indicated we might be starting to see a slowing in the rate of the rise of our cases compared to a month ago,” she said.

Many are questioning whether hospitals over reacted last week.

“There is no question our hospitals are still seeing a lot of patients, treating a lot of patients with COVID-19 and other medical conditions. I would not say our hospitals are over reacting,” said Dr. Khaldun.

It’s no surprise the governor extended the health department restaurant and in-person gathering rules especially considering the pressure she is receiving to close the state down as she has in the past.

The mask requirement for children did not come as a surprise.

“We are actually following CDC and pediatrician guidance when it comes to that requirement for children age 2 and over and there are many other states actually that already have that mask mandate in place,” said Dr. Khaldun.

After leading the nation’s COVID-19 daily case rate for weeks, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Sunday that Michigan could be seeing a drop in infections.

The number of cases went down on Saturday with more than 5,000 reported.

On Friday, Michigan reported a total of 8,955 new cases and 40 additional deaths. It was the second highest single-day case total in Michigan since the start of the pandemic. On Nov. 20, 2020 the state reported a total of 9,779 cases, its highest case total to date.

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 793,881 as of Monday, including 16,901 deaths, state officials report.

Monday’s update includes a total of 8,574 new cases and 61 additional deaths over the past two days.

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Read: Michigan governor says COVID-19 infections could be dropping

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About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.