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Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s what to know Nov. 19, 2020

7,592 new COVID cases reported Thursday

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

DETROIT – The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 285,398 as of Thursday, including 8,324 deaths, state officials report.

Thursday’s update represents 7,592 new cases and 134 additional deaths, including 61 from a Vital Records review. On Wednesday, the state reported 277,806 total cases and 8,190 deaths.

New COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise in Michigan. Testing has increased in recent weeks, with more than 45,000 diagnostic tests reported per day, but the positive rate has increased to above 13% over the last week. Hospitalizations have increased steadily for the last five weeks, including upticks in critical care and ventilator use.

READ: Michigan hospitals filling up as COVID-19 case, positivity rates continue to soar

Michigan’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 6,932 on Wednesday, near the highest it has ever been. The 7-day death average was 58, the highest since May. The state’s fatality rate is 2.9%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 130,000 on Wednesday, near its highest mark on record. More than 138,800 have recovered in Michigan.


Michigan coronavirus headlines:


VIEW: Tracking Michigan COVID-19 testing data

VIEW: Tracking coronavirus cases, outbreaks in Michigan schools


Can Michigan get COVID-19 curve down enough for new restrictions to end after 3 weeks?

Michigan Gov. Whitmer was asked Thursday if the state can get its COVID-19 curve down enough over the next three weeks to avoid extending the new temporary restrictions on restaurants, schools and other parts of the economy.

“If we see meaningful movement in the right direction, that is possible,” Whitmer said. “That shows that we are capable of getting our arms around this.”

On Thursday Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the chief medical executive for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said the state’s hospitals are “closer and closer to becoming overwhelmed” and are currently, on average, about 79% full.

Michigan’s ‘3-week pause’ COVID restrictions in effect Wednesday

Michigan is entering a three-week “pause” to several activities in an effort to help stop a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

Under new restrictions issued Sunday evening by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), here’s what will be closed starting Wednesday, Nov. 18 until Dec. 8 in Michigan.

Note: The map in the article shows the entire state of Michigan under what MDHHS calls risk “Level E” -- read that here.

What’s closed starting Wednesday, Nov. 18:

  • High schools (in-person learning)
  • Theaters, movie theaters, stadiums, arenas,
  • Colleges and universities (in-person learning)
  • Bowling centers, ice skating rinks, indoor water parks
  • Work, when it can be done from home
  • Bingo halls, casinos, arcades
  • Dine-in restaurants and bars (indoor dining)
  • Group fitness classes
  • Personal services (salon, spa) that involve mask removal*
  • Organized sports, except professional sports and certain NCAA sports (Big Ten football, for example)

*For more information, view the MDHHS' official Gatherings and Face Mask emergency order, which goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Nov. 18, right here.

What remains open during this three-week period:

  • Indoor gatherings are still allowed but only between two households and with no more than 10 people.
  • Small outdoor gatherings (25 people)
  • Retail
  • Preschool through 8th grade (local district choice)
  • Childcare
  • Manufacturing, construction, other that is impossible to do remotely
  • Public transit
  • Hair salons, barber shops, other personal services (Per the MDHHS order -- Section 4.e.: In facilities offering non-essential personal care services, including hair, nail, tanning, massage, traditional spa, tattoo, body art, and piercing services, and similar personal care services, gatherings are only permitted to the extent that services do not involve the removal of face masks. All services must be provided by appointment, and gatherings in waiting areas are prohibited.)
  • Gyms and pools (for individual exercise only)
  • Restaurants and bars (for outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery only)
  • Professional sports (without spectators)
  • Parks and outdoor recreation
  • Funerals (25 people)
  • Health care

Interactive map shows COVID risk by event size in each Michigan county

One of the biggest challenges with containing COVID-19 is trying to limit gatherings -- and a new interactive tool shows just how risky it could be.

Researchers at Georgia Tech released a the “COVID-19 Risk Assessment Planning Tool,” a peer-reviewed resource that tells you the risk of being around someone with COVID-19, by the event size, in each U.S. county, in real-time.

According to the data, as of Nov. 13, at an event with 10 people, the risk of a person present with COVID-19 is 19% in Wayne County, 30% in Macomb County and 24% in Oakland County.

If that event is with 25 people, the risk increases to 41% in Wayne County, 59% in Macomb County and 37% in Oakland County.

At an event with 100 people, risk levels in pretty much every Michigan county surpasses 80%, including some at 99%, like Kent and Calhoun counties.

Whitmer ‘strongly considering all actions’ to stop spread of COVID-19

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is “strongly considering all actions” to slow the spread of COVID-19 as cases, hospitalizations and deaths surge statewide.

“Right now, my team and I are following the numbers closely and strongly considering all actions that we can take to keep Michiganders safe,” Whitmer said.

Every week, Whitmer faces a question about whether Michigan will need to be shut down again to stop the spread of COVID-19. During the stay-at-home order, the state flattened the curve to the point certain days had fewer than 200 cases and sometimes, no deaths.

But on Thursday, Michigan reported a single-day record 6,940 new COVID-19 cases, along with 45 additional deaths. Overall, the state has reported 236,225 COVID-19 cases and 7,811 deaths.

‘The health care system can capsize’: Michigan hospitals rapidly filling with COVID-19 patients

Michigan hospitals are rapidly filling with COVID-19 patients once again, and experts are warning residents that if this trend continues, it will be disastrous for the state’s health care system.

Brian Peters, the CEO of the Michigan Heath and Hospital Association, spoke about the state’s latest rise in COVID-19 cases during a virtual panel discussion Thursday. The MHA represents all the hospitals and health systems throughout Michigan.

“I can tell you, very clearly, that we are squarely in the midst of a public health crisis,” Peters said.

The MHA is seeing warning signs from all hospitals -- from the small, rural hospitals to the largest urban systems -- in every corner of that state, he said.

“Our hospitals are rapidly filling with COVID-19 patients at a very alarming rate,” Peters said. “If this continues in the coming weeks, we will surpass our all-time record high in terms of COVID-19 inpatient hospitalization numbers here in the state of Michigan.”

Read more here.

Michigan rolls out coronavirus exposure app statewide: How it works, how to download

Michigan is expanding its COVID-19 exposure app for residents to use statewide after a successful pilot program in October.

The anonymous, no cost and voluntary app, piloted in Ingham County and on the campus of Michigan State University last month, lets users know whether they may have recently been exposed to COVID-19. Users can confidentially submit a positive test result into the app and alert others in recent proximity that they may have also been exposed to the virus.

Read about it here.

Key ways Michigan’s COVID-19 situation is different than when stay-at-home order was necessary

Michigan’s COVID-19 cases sharply declined during the stay-at-home order, but even with cases currently spiking higher than ever before, there are several reasons a similar order likely isn’t necessary, according to the governor.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was asked Thursday during her COVID-19 press briefing whether another stay-at-home order might help get cases under control. The state reported a single-day high 4,101 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday (Nov. 4).

“You say we know what works to stop the spread,” a reporter asked. “A key part of that mix this spring was your stay-at-home order. Will you be asking MDHHS or the Legislature to put another one in place?”

“I think that where we were in the spring versus where we are now -- a lot of the fundamentals that really necessitated the immediate stay-at-home order are different,” Whitmer said.

Read more here.

Whitmer signs 6 COVID-19 bills into law

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed six bills from the state’s new COVID-19 legislation into law. View the list and what the laws are here.

Michigan issues new COVID-19 emergency order with stricter rules for restaurants, gatherings

Michigan health officials have issued a new COVID-19 emergency order that includes stricter regulations on restaurants and gathering limits.

Director Robert Gordon and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, both with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, announced the new order Thursday. MDHHS’s previous COVID-19 order was set to expire Friday.

Under the new order, no more than 50 people can gather indoors unless there is fixed seating. Facilities with fixed seating -- such as sports arenas -- are not affected by the new order. Also, restaurants, bars and other indoor non-residential locations cannot allow more than six people at a table.

Learn more here.

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

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, said during a news briefing Thursday that 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.

The Upper Peninsula has the highest cases per million people, at 428, and positivity rate, at 7.9%. Michigan’s Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids regions are not far behind.

Learn more here.

Whitmer announces grants for teachers, support staff who were impacted by COVID-19

On Tuesday, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and state treasurer Rachael Eubanks announced a new grant program for Michigan teachers and support staff.

Those who worked additional time and incurred additional costs during the 2019-2020 school year due to COVID-19 can receive grant money through two new grant programs.

Under both the Teacher COVID-19 Grant and the Support Staff COVID-19 Grant programs, eligible teachers can receive up to $500 and eligible support staff can receive up to $250. The state of Michigan’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget provides $53 million for eligible K-12 classroom teachers and $20 million for eligible support staff.

Learn more here.

Could the record-breaking COVID-19 numbers lead to a second shutdown for Michigan?

"I think that there are circumstances under which the governor could make the case that there is a new emergency because of an increased spike, " said Attorney General Dana Nessel.

That’s a possibility -- said Attorney General Dana Nessel -- when it comes to another state shutdown.

Michigan’s Health Department reported Saturday the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Michigan is now 158,026, including more than 7,000 deaths.

Saturday’s update alone – 3,338 new cases and 35 additional deaths.

Nessel said Saturday’s numbers are alarming and she’s afraid things will get worse because this time since the Governor’s powers are somewhat limited.

“But what concerns me is what I hear over and over and over from the Republicans that are in power at our state legislature is that they don’t believe in shutting things down,” Nessel said. “They are big proponents of keeping everything open and there’s no reason to shut anything down.”

Read more 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%.


Coronavirus research headlines:


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

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

  • Nov. 1 -- 8 new deaths
  • Nov. 2 -- 9 new deaths
  • Nov. 3 -- 43 new deaths (17 from vital records)
  • Nov. 4 -- 19 new deaths
  • Nov. 5 -- 51 new deaths (26 from vital records)
  • Nov. 6 -- 43 new deaths
  • Nov. 7 -- 65 new deaths
  • Nov. 8 -- 31 new deaths
  • Nov. 9 -- 31 new deaths
  • Nov. 10 -- 84 new deaths (25 from vital records)
  • Nov. 11 -- 42 new deaths
  • Nov. 12 -- 45 new deaths
  • Nov. 13 -- 118 new deaths (83 from vital records)
  • Nov. 14 -- 65 new deaths (36 from vital records)
  • Nov. 15 -- 27 new deaths
  • Nov. 16 -- 28 new deaths
  • Nov. 17 -- 79 new deaths (24 from vital records)

Coronavirus resources:


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