Michigan COVID testing is up. But so is the positivity rate

State recorded highest positive test rate in 5 months

Cody Tupen, a firefighter with the Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority, performs a deep nasal nose-swab COVID-19 test on Nancy Backus, left, the mayor of Auburn, Wash., at a King County COVID-19 testing site in Auburn, south of Seattle, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. State health officials say that a new COVID-19 report released Wednesday shows an increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations throughout Washington state, and if not brought under control, officials said the spike could jeopardize progress toward reopening schools, strain the health care system and increase risks during the holiday season. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Cody Tupen, a firefighter with the Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority, performs a deep nasal nose-swab COVID-19 test on Nancy Backus, left, the mayor of Auburn, Wash., at a King County COVID-19 testing site in Auburn, south of Seattle, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. State health officials say that a new COVID-19 report released Wednesday shows an increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations throughout Washington state, and if not brought under control, officials said the spike could jeopardize progress toward reopening schools, strain the health care system and increase risks during the holiday season. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Michigan is seeing its biggest daily increases of COVID-19 cases right now -- surpassing the state’s first peak in early April.

There are some major differences between the first peak of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Michigan and what’s happening right now.

More: 4 differences between first Michigan COVID spike and now

One of those major differences is testing. COVID-19 diagnostic testing is up in the state over the last couple of weeks, with the state surpassing more than 50,000 daily tests in multiple days.

Despite the increased volume of testing, the positivity rate has still increased to levels not seen in several months.

On Oct. 28, the state reported about 51,000 total diagnostic tests completed, with a positive rate of 8.6%.

For reference, the last time the state reported a positive test rate over 8% was May 17 -- at the time, the state was reporting about 10,000 tests per day.

Michigan COVID-19 Testing Data as of Oct. 28, 2020. (MDHHS)

Overall, Michigan is 11th in testing rate (per one million) in the U.S., while the U.S. as a whole is 19th in the world in testing rate.

As the number of COVID-19 cases spikes dramatically, Michigan’s top medical official broke down the “incredibly disturbing” trends in each of the state’s eight regions.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the chief medical executive of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, spoke Thursday while MDHHS Director Robert Gordon announced a new COVID-19 emergency order.

Khaldun said the state’s number of positive COVID-19 cases per million people per day has been increasing for six weeks, with a seven-day average that’s twice as high as a month ago.

The state as a whole is reporting 172 positive cases per million people per day. Officials said 4,000 tests are being administered per million people each day.

More: How ‘incredibly concerning’ COVID-19 cases are trending in each of Michigan’s 8 regions


About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital special projects manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013.