Michigan’s COVID-19 trends continue to improve -- here’s an update on all 3 major metrics

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun says case, hospitalization, positivity rates all declining

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, of MDHHS, at a Dec. 29, 2020, COVID-19 briefing. (WDIV)

LANSING, Mich. – The three major metrics Michigan uses to gauge the spread of COVID-19 continue to improve, according to an update from the state’s top health official.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the chief medical executive for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, updated the state’s case, hospitalization and positivity rates during Gov. Gretchen Whitmer‘s Tuesday briefing.

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Khaldun said all three metrics continue to show positive movement, a trend that started in early December.

Right now, the state’s case rate is at 279 per million people per day, a number that has been declining for more than 38 days, according to Khaldun.

The case rate is still four times what it was at the start of September.

Test positivity is down to 8.4% statewide. It has been declining for “multiple weeks,” but is still almost three times what it was at the beginning of September, Khaldun said.

“Now, because of the actions that we’ve taken, and because so many Michiganders have done their part, our numbers are better than all of our Midwestern neighbors,” Whitmer said. “These numbers are encouraging.”

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The Saginaw and Jackson regions still have test positivity rates above 10%, the highest in Michigan. These regions also have the highest case rates, though both are declining in that regard.

As of Tuesday, 13.8% of inpatient hospital beds across the state are being used for COVID-19 patients, Khaldun said. That number is down from 16.5% the previous week.

The average number of deaths per day has dropped from 123 last week to 107 this week, according to the state.

While the numbers improve, nearly 71,000 people have been vaccinated in Michigan, Khaldun said.

“We are coming through the end of 2020 in a stronger position than most, because of you,” Whitmer said.

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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.