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Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s what to know Oct. 21, 2020

1,597 new COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday

Michigan COVID-19 data through Oct. 21, 2020.
Michigan COVID-19 data through Oct. 21, 2020. (WDIV)

DETROIT – The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 150,989 as of Wednesday, including 7,086 deaths, state officials report.

Wednesday’s update represents 1,597 new cases and 33 additional deaths. On Tuesday, the state reported 149,392 total cases and 7,053 deaths.

New COVID-19 cases and deaths have increased in the last month in Michigan. Testing has remained steady, with an average of more than 35,000 per day, with the positive rate around 4.5% in the last week.

Hospitalizations have increased steadily for the last four weeks, including a slight uptick in critical care and ventilator use.

RELATED4 differences between first Michigan COVID spike and now

Michigan’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 1,670 on Tuesday, the highest it has ever been. The state’s fatality rate is 4.7%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 32,800 on Monday. More than 109,000 have recovered in Michigan.

According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 3.2 million have recovered in the U.S., with more than 8.2 million cases reported across the country. More than 221,400 have died in the U.S.

Worldwide, more than 40.9 million people have been confirmed infected and more than 1.12 million have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. The true numbers are certainly much higher, because of limited testing, different ways nations count the dead and deliberate under-reporting by some governments.


Michigan coronavirus headlines:


VIEW: Tracking Michigan COVID-19 testing data

VIEW: Tracking coronavirus cases, outbreaks in Michigan schools


How COVID-19 cases are trending in each Michigan region as numbers worsen statewide

The MI Safe Start map breakdown by region on Oct. 21, 2020.
The MI Safe Start map breakdown by region on Oct. 21, 2020. (Michigan.gov)

As the total number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases sharply rises throughout Michigan, the state’s top medical official revealed concerning trends in a region-by-region breakdown.

The case rate in Michigan as a whole is at 131 cases per million people per day, which more than 80% higher than it was a month ago, according to Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun.

View here.

Group calls for unified response from Michigan’s political leadership to mitigate spread of COVID-19

A group of healthcare, public health, university, labor and business leaders called on Michigan’s political leadership to demonstrate a “complete unity of purpose” to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

The group stated support for mandatory standards for mask usage, workplace practices and public gatherings. They said the recent orders by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Michigan Occupational Health and Safety Administration should be deployed across the state with “discipline.”

Michigan will allow indoor nursing home visits depending on regional risk level

Michigan will allow indoor visitation to long term care facilities for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic started in the state.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon today issued an Emergency Order under MCL 333.2253 that updates and further expands requirements for residential care facilities, while also permitting indoor visitation in residential care facilities in certain circumstances.

The state had previously allowed outdoor visits and visits for terminally ill patients.

Under the order, visitation rules are linked to the risk level of the county. A list of county risk levels is available on the MI Safe Start Map.

Indoor visitation is now allowed in areas where the current risk level is A, B, C, or D, so long as the facilities have had no new cases, including those involving residents or staff, originating within the prior 14 days. Indoor visitation is not allowed when the county is at risk level E, which means there is an elevated incidence growth rate with average daily cases/million greater than 150 or a positivity rate greater than 20%.

Emergency stay-in-place order issued for University of Michigan students to stop COVID-19 spread

An emergency stay-in-place order has been issued for University of Michigan students, requiring them to stay at their residences with few exceptions due to COVID-19 outbreaks.

The order is effective immediately and will continue through 7 a.m. Nov. 3, according to the Washtenaw County Health Department.

More: University of Michigan officials say spike in COVID-19 cases come from parties, not in-person classes

Under the order, undergraduate students must stay in their residence unless they’re attending class, accessing dining services or carrying out approved work that can’t be done remotely.

Students who wish to return to their primary residence can do so only if they have completed the university’s procedures for leaving campus safely, health officials said.

Mayors from 11 Big Ten cities request 4 additional safety measures ahead of football season

Mayors from 11 Big Ten cities sent a letter to the conference requesting four additional safety measures be taken ahead of football season.

After it was originally postponed until the spring, the Big Ten football season was reinstated last month and will begin this weekend. Wisconsin and Illinois will officially start conference play Friday, with the rest of the league kicking off Saturday.

As part of the league’s reinstatement, officials outlined two specific COVID-19 stats that would be monitored to make sure teams would be allowed to play: team positivity rate and population positivity rate.

Click here to read all about those stats and what level they would have to reach for games to get canceled.

On Tuesday, 12 mayors -- 11 from Big Ten cities, as well as the mayor of Lansing -- sent a letter to the league requesting a few additional precautions be put in place. Read the letter here.

Michigan’s chief medical executive testifies before committee overseeing state’s COVID-19 response

On Monday morning, Michigan’s chief medical executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun appeared remotely before a joint House and Senate committee that is overseeing the state’s COVID-19 response.

Lawmakers questioned her on a range of topics, often with the seeming intent to identify the data used by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in her Executive Orders.

The COVID-19 is a medical and public health event. Because it’s happening during a very political year, there are deep disagreements on the steps that have been taken to contain it. Khaldun summarized where the data puts Michigan now.

“We look at how the disease is spreading across the state. It varies locally, it varies regionally. And we look at various epidemiological metrics, whether it’s cases, tests, percent positivity, you’ve heard us talk about a lot -- but we also don’t look at it just one point in time. But we look at trends over time, which is really important,” Khaldun said.

Read more here.

Health officials concerned as virus cases linked to Michigan State University rise

Health officials are searching for answers after coronavirus cases linked to Michigan State University students and staff rose to more than 1,200.

“I’m kind of feeling like I’m running out of tools in my toolbox. I’ll find some more,” said Linda Vail, Ingham County health officer.

Vail could further restrict indoor gatherings and put more large apartments and housing complexes on quarantine, the Lansing State Journal reported. Fraternities and sororities close to campus already have restrictions. Since the semester started, 1,250 cases of COVID-19 have been tied to MSU students or staff. MSU cases are 40% of cases reported in Ingham County since March.

Wayne County issues emergency order to preserve coronavirus precautions

The Wayne County Health Department issued an emergency public health order on Oct. 8 requiring residents to continue taking steps to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Wayne County officials say requirements listed in Thursday’s order essentially carry on health and safety precautions previously ordered by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer before the state Supreme Court ruled against her emergency powers.

“We are keeping the COVID-19 rules and regulations in place from before the Michigan Supreme Court ruled on the governor’s authority to issue them,” Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans said in a press release. “Wayne County’s order is simple: keep wearing masks in public; no group events larger than 10 people or 20 percent attendance per 1,000 square-feet of space; and, employers must still provide health screenings for employees working in public areas or with the public. These are the rules we are accustomed to and they are the rules we are going to follow until there is clearer direction from the state.”

Michigan Supreme Court: Gov. Whitmer’s COVID orders no longer in effect

The Michigan Supreme Court has denied the state’s request for a transition window for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s pandemic orders after her powers were struck down earlier this month.

On Oct. 2, the court ruled that a 1945 law that Gov. Whitmer was drawing from to issue orders was unconstitutional. The ruling created confusion around wether or not her orders were still in effect for a short period after the ruling. At the time, Whitmer’s office claimed the orders would remain in effect for 21 days.

On Oct. 5, Gov. Whitmer asked the court to clarify, suggesting the state needed a transition period. But on Monday, the court denied the motion, ruling Whitmer’s orders are no longer in effect.

Michigan again at ‘high risk’ for virus outbreak amid worry of 2nd wave, data shows

A research group has once again labeled Michigan at “high risk” for a coronavirus outbreak as COVID-19 cases begin to rise rapidly across the state.

The group of technologists, epidemiologists, health experts and public policy leaders at Covid Act Now are identifying each state’s risk level for the spread of COVID-19 -- which have recently worsened in most parts of the U.S.

On Thursday, Michigan’s risk level for a coronavirus outbreak increased from “medium risk” to “high risk” for the first time since July 31. The state’s new risk level is largely due to an increased infection rate and rapid increase of daily new COVID-19 cases, according to the data.

Michigan was previously labeled as experiencing “controlled disease growth.”

Michigan health officials issue coronavirus regulations mirroring Gov. Whitmer’s previous orders

Michigan health officials have issued several coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations that mirror those previously put in place by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer before they were shot down by the state’s Supreme Court.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon issued the new order to restrict gathering sizes, require face masks in public spaces and childcare facilities, limit capacity in businesses and create safer workplaces, officials announced.

Gov. Whitmer kidnapping plot: Here’s what we’ve learned as of Friday afternoon

It’s in effect until at least Oct. 30, according to MDHHS.

Michigan movie theaters, bowling alleys can reopen today

After more than six months of being closed, movie theaters and bowling alleys can finally reopen on Friday in Michigan.

But the capacity will be nowhere near pre-COVID-19 numbers. Here’s what to know.

Emergency order requires Michigan schools to disclose coronavirus cases within 24 hours

Michigan schools are now required to notify the public about any probable or confirmed cases of COVID-19 within 24 hours under a new emergency order.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) director Robert Gordon issued an emergency order Tuesday that will requires K-12 schools to publicly disclose any probable or confirmed virus cases on their website within 24 hours of learning of the cases.

The order goes into effect on October 12, officials said.

Michigan health department issues emergency orders restricting nursing home visits

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has issued orders essentially reinstating restrictions on long term care facilities and other facilities due to coronavirus.

The orders come after Gov. Whitmer’s previous Executive Order was struck down by the state Supreme Court last week, saying she drew authority from a 1945 law that is unconstitutional.

MDHHS Director Robert Gordon said this new order relies on authorities that were first enacted after the Spanish Flu of 1918, and that were not at issue in the Michigan Supreme Court’s decision.

MDHHS issues new order requiring masks

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a new order restricting gathering sizes, requiring face coverings and limiting some businesses across the state, citing authority that wasn’t covered by the Supreme Court’s recent decision.

This order reinstates three aspects of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s previous emergency orders:

  • Masks are required at indoor and outdoor gatherings that involve people from different households.
  • Specific gathering limitations.
  • Bars must close indoor common areas, and indoor gatherings are prohibited in most areas where alcohol is sold.

This order is effective immediately and remains in effect through Oct. 30, according to MDHHS officials.


Coronavirus headlines:


Michigan COVID-19 daily reported cases since Oct. 1:

  • Oct. 1 -- 891 new cases
  • Oct. 2 -- 780 new cases
  • Oct. 3 -- 1,158 new cases
  • Oct. 4 -- 703 new cases
  • Oct. 5 -- 703 new cases
  • Oct. 6 -- 903 new cases
  • Oct. 7 -- 1,016 new cases
  • Oct. 8 -- 1,197 new cases
  • Oct. 9 -- 1,095 new cases
  • Oct. 10 -- 1,522 new cases
  • Oct. 11 -- 904 new cases
  • Oct. 12 -- 904 new cases
  • Oct. 13 -- 1,237 new cases
  • Oct. 14 -- 1,359 new cases
  • Oct. 15 -- 2,030 new cases
  • Oct. 16 -- 2,015 new cases
  • Oct. 17 -- 1,791 new cases
  • Oct. 18 -- 1,454 new cases
  • Oct. 19 -- 1,455 new cases
  • Oct. 20 -- 1,586 new cases
  • Oct. 21 -- 1,597 new cases

Michigan COVID-19 daily reported deaths since Oct. 1:

  • Oct. 1 -- 19 new deaths (11 from vital records)
  • Oct. 2 -- 7 new deaths
  • Oct. 3 -- 13 new deaths (11 from vital records)
  • Oct. 4 -- 8 new deaths
  • Oct. 5 -- 7 new deaths
  • Oct. 6 -- 22 new deaths (7 from vital records)
  • Oct. 7 -- 9 new deaths
  • Oct. 8 -- 22 new deaths (20 from vital records)
  • Oct. 9 -- 7 new deaths
  • Oct. 10 -- 15 new deaths
  • Oct. 11 -- 4 new deaths
  • Oct. 12 -- 3 new deaths
  • Oct. 13 -- 30 new deaths (10 from vital records)
  • Oct. 14 -- 13 new deaths
  • Oct. 15 -- 32 new deaths (21 from vital records)
  • Oct. 16 -- 14 new deaths
  • Oct. 17 -- 23 new deaths (15 from vital records)
  • Oct. 18 -- 11 new deaths
  • Oct. 19 -- 10 new deaths
  • Oct. 20 -- 22 new deaths (1 from vital records)

Coronavirus resources:


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