LANSING, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer held a press conference Thursday afternoon providing updates on the state’s response to COVID-19.

On Thursday, Whitmer, Senate Democratic Leader Jim Ananich and House Democratic Leader Christine Greig sent a letter to President Trump, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Kevin McCarthy urging them to take swift action and pass a COVID relief bill that provides support to help combat COVID-19, mitigate its economic fallout, provide support for Michigan schools and protect frontline workers, restaurants, and small businesses.

Whitmer and the Democratic leaders also urged the federal government to provide support for Michigan’s unemployed workers.

“Nearly 3 million Michigan workers and counting have applied for unemployment benefits since the start of the pandemic, with more than 600,000 still receiving benefits. Rising infections are likely to lead to more layoffs which will only drive this number higher. It is imperative that Congress take action now to extend the UI provisions of the CARES Act, such as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, to provide relief to those who lost their job through no fault of their own and to bolster the larger economy,” said Whitmer.

“This virus can be deadly for everyone, that’s why these next three weeks are so crucial. We flattened the curve in the spring by listening to our public health and medical experts we can do this again,” the governor said.

Here are updates from Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health.

  • The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced 7,592 coronavirus cases in the state and an additional 134 deaths Thursday.
  • The deaths announced Thursday includes 61 deaths identified during a Vital Records review. This brings the state total of COVID-19 cases to 285,398 and 8,324 deaths as of Nov. 19.
  • Case rates across the state range from 418 cases per million in the Traverse City region to 934 cases per million in the Grand Rapids region. Test positivity ranges from 9 percent in the Traverse City Region to 16 percent in the Grand Rapids and the Kalamazoo regions.

“Every region in the state is seeing alarming case and test positivity rates,” Khaldun said.

Hospitals across the state are “closer and closer” to becoming overwhelmed and are on average 79 percent full, they are becoming more full of Covid-19 patients, according to Khaldun.

Michigan has the fourth highest number of Covid-19 patients hospitalized in the country behind Texas, Illinois and California.

The chief medical executive said the public health system is also becoming overwhelmed. Case investigators and contact tracers may not be able to reach everyone they need to in a timely way.

“It is very possible if you have been exposed to someone with Covid-19, our contact tracers may not be able to get in contact with you quickly enough to let you know you need to quarantine. That’s why we are encouraging everyone to download the MI Covid Alert App,” she said.

As for Thanksgiving next week, Khaldun says, “The smartest thing is not to gather.”

“Indoor gatherings are a major way that Covid-19 is spreading right now and at the rates we are seeing in the state, it is very likely if you are gathering for Thanksgiving, the virus will also be around the table with you,” she said.

November 15 Press Conference

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a new emergency order today that enacts a three-week pause targeting indoor social gatherings and other group activities in an effort to curb rapidly rising COVID-19 infection rates.

Indoor residential gatherings are limited to two households at one time. The idea is to limit residential and non-residential gatherings where COVID-19 spreads rapidly.

Bars and restaurants will be open for outdoor dining, carry-out, and delivery only.

Gyms will remain open for individual exercise with strict safety measures in place.

Casinos, movie theaters, and group exercise classes will be closed.

Professional and college sports meeting extraordinary standards for risk mitigation may continue without spectators, however, all other organized sports must stop.

Colleges and high schools may proceed with remote learning but must end in-person classes.

“In the spring, we listened to public health experts, stomped the curve, and saved thousands of lives together. Now, we must channel that same energy and join forces again to protect our families, frontline workers and small businesses,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Right now, there are thousands of cases a day and hundreds of deaths a week in Michigan, and the number is growing. If we don’t act now, thousands more will die, and our hospitals will continue to be overwhelmed. We can get through this together by listening to health experts once again and taking action right now to slow the spread of this deadly virus.”

Monday’s order, which takes effect Wednesday, Nov. 18. The order leaves open work that cannot be performed from home, including for manufacturing, construction, and health occupations.

Outdoor gatherings, outdoor dining, and parks remain open.

Individualized activities with distancing and face masks are still allowed: retail shopping; public transit; restaurant takeout; personal-care services such as haircuts, by appointment; and individualized exercise at a gym, with extra spacing between machines.

Fewer outbreaks have been seen in elementary and middle schools, and younger children are most in need of in-person instruction.

In-person K-8 schooling may continue if it can be done with strong mitigation, including mask requirements, based on discussion between local health and school officials.

Childcare also remains open to support working parents. Throughout this crisis, Michigan’s teachers and childcare workers have served on the front lines ensuring support for working parents and educating our children.

Governor Whitmer’s administration has worked around the clock to protect Michigan’s teachers and childcare workers and the other heroes serving on the front lines of the pandemic.

November 12 Press Conference

In Michigan, more than 3,000 people are hospitalized with the coronavirus and the rate is doubling every two week according to hospital leaders who are calling it “very serious” and an “accelerating trend.”

The governor said asked Michiganders to do their part in flattening the curve was to not overwhelm hospitals, keep people safe and save lives.

“Sadly Covid-19 is not done with us yet. It doesn’t care if we are tired of it or are angry or weary. This enemy is relentless and now the second wave of Covid-19 is hitting us and it’s hitting us hard,” said Whitmer.

Whitmer said Michigan is now in the “worst part” of the pandemic and this is the moment medical experts have been warning us about.

According to the governor, hospitals are nearing capacity and they are “burning through PPE.”

  • There are 200,000+ cases of Covid-19 in Michigan
  • There are 100,000+ new cases every day in the U.S.
  • There are 1,000+ deaths each day in the U.S.

“We’re facing a 9/11 every three days. No one is safe from this virus,” said Whitmer, who added that youth, fame and wealth will not protect people from Covid-19.

Here’s what Whitmer said Michiganders needs to do all of these to stay safe:

  • Wear a mask.
  • Practice safe physical distancing.
  • Wash hand frequently.
  • Get a flu shot.

“Just because you’re allowed to do something, just because you can do something, doesn’t mean it is a smart thing to do,” said Whitmer.

Here are more updates from the governor:

  • Covid-19 hospitalization are up 5-fold over the course of the last five weeks in their hospitals.
  • The number of covid patients in hospitals across Michigan is expected to double in just two weeks to a new all-time high.
  • The governor said when healthcare leaders from every corner of the state join to publicly make a plea for decisive action, everyone should listen.
  • Right now rural Michigan is getting hit the hardest and is spreading rapidly everywhere.
  • Medical experts across the country have strongly recommended families do not host thanksgiving with people from outside of their households.

The governor also provided common mistakes people are making during the pandemic:

  • Attending many small gatherings with people you know.
  • Not quarantining for two weeks once exposed.
  • Getting tested too soon after exposure.
  • Assuming friends and family are as careful as you are.
  • Assuming that because something is allowed it must be safe.
  • Assuming that taking just one precaution will keep you safe.

Here are updates from Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health.

Khaldun says the virus is “out of control” and urged people not to travel for the holidays.

Michigan’s overall case rate is at 416 cases per million people per day. During the Nov. 5 press conference, Michigan’s overall case rate was 261 cases per million people per day. The state’s positivity rate is now at 10.8 percent. Back in September, the state’s positivity rate was 3.7 percent.

“There’s no area of the state that is spared,” said Khaldun.

  • UP, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Saginaw Regions: have case rates between 497 and 653 cases per million people per day.
  • Jackson, Detroit and Lansing Regions: have case rates in the 300s per million people per day.
  • Traverse City Region: has the lowest case rate at 278 per million people per day.

“To be clear, this is very concerning, because unlike in the spring, when only those who were very ill could obtain a test, now anyone who wants a test can get a test,” said Khaldun.

There have been over 45,000 diagnostic tests per day, which is the fifth largest total number of tests for any state in the country.

On Thursday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced 6,940 coronavirus cases in the state and an additional 45 deaths. This brought the state’s total of Covid-19 cases to 236,225 and 7,811 deaths.

To watch the governor’s full press conference, click here.

Nov. 5 Press Conference Updates

Whitmer began by congratulating Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and candidates from Michigan on their victories in the general election.

“On behalf of the people of Michigan, I want to congratulate Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Senator Gary Peters, Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack, and Justice-Elect Elizabeth Welch on their victories. This was a hard-fought election on both sides, shattering the record for the most votes cast in the history of our state, with more than 5.1 million votes and over 3.2 absentee ballots cast,” the governor said.

Whitmer said the people have spoken, and with the election behind us, now is the time for our nation to come together.

“We have a common enemy, and it is Covid-19, not one another. This pandemic has ravaged our state, infecting more than 190,000 people and taking the lives of more than 7,400 Michiganders. As governor, I’m ready to work with the president and our state legislature on areas where we can find common ground to keep our state safe. I remain firmly committed to doing everything we can to slow the spread of this deadly virus, so we can protect the health and safety of our families, our frontline workers, our seniors, and our small businesses. Let’s all mask up, Michigan, and let’s get through this together,” said Whitmer.

Here’s the governor’s updates:

  • Fighting this virus has always been a team sport, one that requires leaders from both sides of the aisle to work together to keep Michiganders safe.
  • Whitmer sent a letter to Republican legislative leaders urging them to pass legislation requiring all Michiganders to wear masks in indoor public spaces and crowded outdoor areas.
  • Wearing a mask protects families, frontline workers and most vulnerable members of society.
  • If the legislature is serious about fighting this virus and saving lives, they’ll start by passing the most important life-saving rule of all: weak a mask.
  • Families, frontline workers, small businesses and communities across the country are awaiting much-needed action from the federal government.
  • Whitmer said Michigan needs the president and Mitch McConnel to work across the aisle to pass a bipartisan relief package that includes:
    • Help for unemployed workers.
    • Support for Michigan’s small businesses and women and minority-owned businesses.
    • More resources to safely reopen Michigan’s schools.
    • Increased testing and PPE supplies to keep people safe.
    • State and local aid.
  • Her administration is continuing to take action to protect Michigan workers as cases ramp up and the state continues to fight the virus.
  • MIOSHA is increasing its scrutiny on the remote work policies established by Michigan businesses, primarily those in offices.
  • Employers must create a policy prohibiting in-person work for employees to the extent that their work activities can feasibly be completed remotely.
  • It’s time to double down on mask wearing and safe physical distancing.

  • As Michiganders head into Thanksgiving follow the guidance issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
    • Get together outside whenever possible. You have up to 20 times higher risk of getting sick inside.
    • If you do get together inside, include no more than two households and 10 people.
    • Wash hands regularly and try not to share utensils.
    • Wear a mask, take it off when you eat or drink, then put it back on.
    • Keep six feet apart as much as you can.
    • When possible, keep voices down; high volume can increase Covid transmission by 30 times.

Here are updates from Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health.

Khaldun says it’s very concerning what the DHHS is seeing across the state. Michigan’s overall case rate is at 261 cases per million people per day. The state is seeing more than five times the number of cases now than in early September. In September, Michigan’s overall case rate was around 57 cases per million people per day. In September, the state’s positivity rate was 3.7 percent (of tests coming back positive). Khaldun says this is an indication there is community spread across the state.

There have been 43,000 diagnostic tests per day over the past week. The state’s positivity rate however is at 7.5 percent (of tests coming back positive) and the rate has been increasing for the past five weeks, according to Khaldun.

  • UP Region: has the highest case rate at 509 cases per million people per day. This rate has been increasing for nine weeks straight, Khaldun says.
  • Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo Regions: have 370 and 331 cases per million people per day. Both regions have the highest test positivity rate in the state at over nine percent.
  • Detroit, Lansing, Saginaw and Traverse City Regions: have over 200 cases per million people per day and a between 5.5-7.7 percent positivity rate.
  • Jackson Region: has the lowest case rate at 193 cases per million people per day and the lowest positivity rate at 4.1 percent.

In every region across the state, hospitalizations are increasing and as of Nov. 4 more than 1,900 people were hospitalized for Covid-19.

“That’s almost four times more than we saw at the end of August,” said Khaldun.

She also said if the state continues at the rate it is going with the coronavirus, Michigan could see “up to 100 deaths a day by the end of December.”

The local health departments are investigating over 590 outbreaks across the state, which is the largest number of outbreaks since the beginning of tracking investigations.

Here are some examples of outbreaks from Khaldun:

  • A family attended a birthday party which resulted in six cases
  • A wedding in the fall resulted in 13 new coronavirus cases
  • There have been outbreaks at recreational facilities
  • A high school sleepover
  • A high school banquet
  • There have been multiple outbreaks associated with both K-12 and college sports teams
  • There have been multiple outbreaks associated with funerals
  • Outbreaks have also impacted workplaces
    • This includes office buildings, assembly plants, manufacturing and a grocery store

“Employers that can have their employees work from home right now, should be doing that. This means most office work and for those companies that really must have their employees come to work, they should be making those work places as safe as possible, and enforcing physical distancing and mask requirements,” said Khaldun.

Oct. 21 Press Conference Updates

Here’s the governor’s updates:

  • Whitmer urged Michiganders to vote early and turn in their ballots by hand delivering it to their local clerk’s office.

  • Whitmer says Michigan is now at its “peak when it comes to daily new cases.” The state has also seen a steady rise in hospitalizations.
    • This peak is higher than the peak Michigan saw in April.

“Our cases per million have been on the rise” the governor said since the Supreme Court made their ruling.

The Supreme Court ruled that Whitmer lacks the power to issue executive orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic without consent from the Legislature.

“I want you to know that I’m going to use every tool at my disposal to keep you and your family safe,” she said.

  • Last Friday, Whitmer signed a set of emergency rules from the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity that secure protections for Michigan workers.
  • On Monday, Whitmer signed bipartisan bills codifying her executive order that extends unemployment benefits for Michiganders who have lost work as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic from 20 to 26 weeks until the end of the year.
  • Michigan’s Small Business Relief Program awarded $10 million in grants and nearly $10 million in loans to small businesses in all 83 counties in the state.
  • Michigan’s Small Business Restart Grants provided $100 million in federal funding for small business relief grants.
  • A total of 177 farms and 159 food processors have been awarded $15 million in Michigan Agricultural Safety Grants to mitigate risks of the Covid-19 virus across the state’s food production industry.

MORE FROM CBS DETROIT: Michigan Will Allow Indoor Visits At Nursing Homes

Here are updates from Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health.

Khaldun says Michigan’s overall case rate is at 131 cases per million people per day. In September, Michigan’s overall case rate was around 57 cases per million people per day. The state’s positivity rate is at 4.9 percent (of tests coming back positive). In September, the state’s positivity rate was 3.7 percent (of tests coming back positive). Khaldun says this is an indication there is community spread across the state.

  • UP Region: has 337 cases per million people per day and a 9.3 percent positivity rate for tests.
  • Kalamazoo Region: has 211 cases per million people per day and a 6.7 percent positivity rate for tests.
  • Grand Rapids Region: has 155 cases per million people per day and a 4.6 percent positivity rate for tests.
  • Detroit, Saginaw, Lansing and Jackson Regions: have more than 70, but less than 150 cases per million people per day and a 2.6-4.4 percent positivity rate for tests.
  • Traverse City Region: remains the region with the lowest rate of 62 cases per million people per day and a 3 percent positivity rate for tests.

Khaldun says local health departments are investigating 393 outbreaks across the state.

“That number continues to grow every week. Top categories for outbreaks remain at long-term care facilities, educational settings and social gatherings,” she said.

Khaldun says the health department is now seeing a lot of outbreaks associated with religious gatherings. There are now 18 new and ongoing outbreaks that local health departments are investigating in this setting.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced 1,586 coronavirus cases in the state and an additional 22 deaths Tuesday.

This brings the state total of COVID-19 cases to 149,392 and 7,053 deaths as of Oct. 20.

In the state as of Oct. 17, there has been a total of 109,539 recovered cases of Covid-19.

MORE FROM CBS DETROIT: Michigan Reports 1,586 New Covid-19 Cases, 22 Deaths Tuesday

Sept. 16 Press Conference Updates

Whitmer said Michiganders should start taking action now with the November election in 48 days. She said Michganders should act swiftly and if those who have not requested their ballots, they should request it here. Ballots will begin being mailed on Sept. 24.

“This year, Michigan has emerged as a leader in facilitating safe elections during a pandemic,” she said.

  •  On Tuesday, the Senate passed Senate Bill 757 which allows clerks to begin processing absentee voter ballots prior to election day.
  • We are not out the woods yet when it comes to fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. She reminded Michiganders to be smart, mask up and stay safe.

Here are updates from Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health.

Khaldun says Michigan’s overall case rate is at 57 cases per million people per day. The state’s positivity rate is at 3.7 percent (of tests coming back positive).

  • Detroit and Saginaw Regions: have more than 40 cases per million people per day.
    • Khaldun said while the cases in these areas are declining, test positivity is increasing.
  • Traverse City Region: 31 cases per million people per day.
    • Test positivity is below 3 percent.
    • In this region, both indicators are declining.
  • Kalamazoo and Jackson Regions: over 40 cases per million people per day.
  • Grand Rapids, Lansing and UP Regions: increased to more than 70 cases per million people per day.
    • These increases are in large part because of outbreaks associated with universities and colleges.

RELATED LINK: Michigan Reports 680 New Covid-19 Cases, 11 Deaths Wednesday

“Our deaths remain steady averaging under 10 deaths per day,” said Khaldun. “We’re glad this number is not as high as it was back in March and April, but our hearts are still with those who are still losing loved ones to this disease. We also know people are surviving after being infected with Covid-19. There are over 85,500 people in Michigan who have survived and are alive at least 30 days after their symptoms, that’s a good sign but I want to be very clear, death is not the only outcome that matters. Many people who survive Covid-19 do not immediately get back to their normal state of health.”

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson called on Michigan citizens and the state legislature to take action now ahead of the Nov. 3 general election.

“Already we’ve had three successful elections this year which saw record turnout, record numbers of citizens voting by mail, and little to no crowding on Election Day. We are on track to replicate this success in November,” said Benson. “Our clerks are doing their part, working tirelessly as they have all year to juggle unprecedented challenges while embracing record turnout. But they and voters need support from the federal government and our state legislature.”

Benson noted that while other states provide days for pre-processing of absentee ballots, Senate Bill 757, passed yesterday by the Michigan Senate would allow only a few more hours, and only limited pre-processing, which is not enough to make a significant difference. Benson also pointed out that thousands of voters were disenfranchised in the August primary because their ballots arrived late or without a signature matching the one on their voter registration. The legislature has not advanced the bills that have been introduced to prevent such disenfranchisement in November.

Sept. 2 Press Conference Updates

Here’s Whitmer’s Sept. 2 updates:

  • Whitmer said she had two announcements that will help the state slow the spread of Covid-19 and provide some much needed support to small business owners.
    • MDHHS is partnering with community organizations to launch 12 neighborhood testing sites by the end of the week and more than 20 across the state in the coming weeks.
    • Huntington Bank is making a $5 billion investment to boost Michigan’s economy
      • This plan is part of a $20 billion corporate initiative.
      • “In this critical time when businesses are confronting the extreme challenge of a public health crisis, recession and issues related to social equity, Huntington’s purpose of looking out for people calls us to do more for Michigan’s small businesses, consumers and communities,” said Sandy Pierce, Huntington’s director of Private Banking, Insurance Agency, Vehicle Finance and Regional Banking.

Sandy Pierce, Senior Executive Vice President of Huntington Bank

  • Tuesday, General Motors announced they would donate two million face masks to Michigan Public Schools as part of the MI Mask Aid Partnership.
  • Whitmer said these initiatives will help the state continue fighting the pandemic and protect small business owners.
  • Whitmer met with White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx in Lansing Wednesday to discuss Michigan’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Whitmer expressed the need for clear, consistent guidance from the federal government including a national mask mandate that could save thousands of American lives.
    • She also expressed the need for full federal funding for the Michigan National Guard to support Michigan’s testing operations in vulnerable settings like nursing homes and prisons.
  • She added the announcement she plans to make in the coming days will protect athletes, coaches, families and small business owners.
    • “I will have more to say on this topic very soon, so stay tuned, keep your eye on the ball and keep working to beat this virus together,” she said.

RELATED LINK: Whitmer Meets With White House Coronavirus Task Force, Requests Federal Support To Expand Testing, Save Lives

Here are updates from Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced 524 coronavirus cases in the state and an additional 14 deaths Wednesday.

Khaldun said this brings the state’s total of COVID-19 cases to 103,710 and 6,509 deaths.

RELATED LINK: Michigan Reports 524 New Covid-19 Cases, 14 Deaths Wednesday

The rate of new cases continues to vary by region. Here’s the data update as of Sept. 2:

Michigan’s overall case rate is at 59 cases per million people per day and has declined in the past week. The state’s positivity rate is at 3.1 percent (of tests coming back positive). This number has decreased over the past week, Khaldun said.

  • Detroit Region: has the highest case rate at 66 cases per million people per day.
    • Khaldun said this trend is declining.
  • Traverse City and UP Regions: over 40 cases per million people per day.
    • Both regions are being watched very closely.
    • Traverse City has had an increase over the past three weeks.
    • Both regions continue to have higher cases than there were a few months ago.
  • Grand Rapids Region: 59 cases per million people per day.
    • This region has seen a recent increase in case rate as well as the percentages of positive cases.
  • Saginaw and Kalamazoo Regions: about 56 and 50 cases per million people per day.
    • The Saginaw Region has seen a decreasing trend.
    • Kalamazoo’s case rate has increased.
  • Jackson and Lansing Regions: under 40 cases per million people per day.

Outbreaks

  • Last week the health department identified 93 new outbreaks.
  • Khaldun said the state is working with local health departments to gather names of specific schools that have outbreaks associated with them, receiving accurate data. This information is expected to be posted within the next two weeks.

Aug. 25 Press Conference Updates

Here’s Whitmer’s Aug. 25 updates:

  • Ikea donated $1.2 million to Michigan’s Covid-19 response and recovery initative. Whitmer said it’s the largest donation to date.
  • Flu season is around the corner. Whitmer said preventing the flu will help save lives and preserve health care resources needed to fight Covid-19.
  • Michigan has set a goal of achieving a 33 percent increase in flu vaccinations this season.
  • Whitmer says there are still crucial precautions everyone must take to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and the flu. She added until there is a coronavirus vaccine, everyone must do everything in their power to protect each other.

RELATED LINK: Here’s What Gov. Whitmer Said About When Gyms, Theaters Will Re-Open

“It’s more important than ever for Michiganders everywhere to get your flu vaccine. Preventing the flu will help us save lives and preserve the health care resources we need to continue fighting COVID-19,” said Whitmer.

In Michigan, 3.2 million people got the flu vaccine last year. At the end of Tuesday’s press conference, Whitmer received her Flu vaccination. For a list of flu vaccination clinics near you, visit www.flu.gov.

Here are updates from Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health.

RELATED LINK: Michigan Reports 868 New Covid-19 Cases, 4 Deaths Monday

The rate of new cases continues to vary by region. Here’s the data update as of Aug. 21:

  • Detroit Region: has the highest case rate at 69 cases per million people per day.
    • Khaldun said this trend has been decreasing over the past week.
  • UP and Saginaw Regions: about 57 cases per million people per day.
    • The UP has seen a decrease in case rate over the past week.
    • The Saginaw Region has seen an increase.
  • Kalamazoo Region: 53 cases per million people per day.
    • This region has seen a decrease over the past two weeks.
  • Grand Rapids Region: 40 cases per million people per day.
    • This region has seen a decrease over the past two weeks.
  • Traverse City Region: about 32 cases per million people per day.
    • This region has seen an increase over the past two weeks.
  • Jackson and Lansing Areas: around 25 cases per million people per day.
    • This region has seen decreases over the past one-to-two weeks.

Khaldun says overall the percent of positive coronavirus tests are at a 3.3 percent an is holding steady.

“Ideally we would want that number to come down even lower, below three percent” she said.

The state is aggressively tracing coronavirus outbreaks which according to Khaldun are happening in every region of the state.

Last week, local heath departments identified 70 outbreaks they were investigating. Now, information about these outbreaks will be posted weekly here.

Khaldun said with flu season just around the corner and the continuation of the coronavirus, it is very concerning.

“People with symptoms of the flu will need to stay out of school and work or they can get very sick and need to be admitted to the hospital and even, God forbid, they could lose their life. This is not a joke,” she said.

Aug. 5 Press Conference Updates

It’s been nearly five months since the first cases of COVID-19 hit Michigan. Here’s Whitmer’s Aug. 5 updates:

  • The governor says it’s time for President Donald Trump and congress to work together to pass a recovery package to support state governments, families, frontline workers and small business owners.
  • Whitmer took action to elevate Black voices in state government signing an executive order which creates the Black Leadership Advisory Council.

RELATED LINK: Whitmer Declares Racism As Public Health Crisis In Michigan, Creates Black Leadership Advisory Council

  • To apply to the Black Leadership Advisory Council visit Michigan.gov/appointments and click “Black Leaders Advisory Council” from the drop menu of the application. Applications are due by Wednesday, August 19 by 5 p.m.

“These past several months have been difficult for all of us, but they have been especially tough for Black and Brown people who for generations have battled the harms caused by a system steeped in persistent inequalities. These are the same inequities that have motivated so many Americans of every background to confront the legacy of systemic racism that has been a stain on our state and nation from the beginning,” saidLt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “That is why, today, we take the much-needed and long-overdue step of recognizing racism as a public health crisis. It is only after we have fully defined the injustice that we can begin to take steps to replace it with a greater system of justice that enables all Michiganders to pursue their fullest dreams and potential.”

  • The governor also signed an executive directive declaring racism as a public health crisis in Michigan.
    • Under this order, the governor asked MDHHS to make health equity a major goal, as well as required implicit bias training for all state employees, including the governor’s executive office staff.
  • Whitmer says there is a lot of work to do to eradicate the systemic racism that Black Americans have faced for generations.

Here are updates from Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health.

  • Overall Khaldun says Michigan is seeing a plateau in cases after seeing an uptick in June and July. Khaldun says the disease spread looks different by region.

The rate of new cases continues to vary by region:

  • Detroit, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo Regions: just over 40 cases per million people per day.
    • There has been a steady decrease in the past two to three weeks.
  • Jackson and UP Regions: about 35 cases per million people per day.
    • These regions have seen a decrease in cases in the past one to two weeks.
  • Saginaw Region: just under 30 cases per million people per day.
    • This region has seen a decrease in the past week.
  • Lansing Region: just under 30 cases per million people per day.
    • There has been a two week increase in the rate of cases.
  • Traverse City Region: the only region in the state that has under 10 cases per million people per day.
    • This region continues to see a decrease over the past three weeks.

On Tuesday, Michigan reported 664 new Covid-19 Cases and eight deaths. This brings the state total of COVID-19 cases to 84,050 and 6,220 deaths as of Aug. 4 at 2:45 p.m.

Coronavirus Testing: Michigan conducts about 28,000 tests per day which is about 2 percent of the state’s population per week, Khaldun says.

The percent of positive tests is also trending down. Khaldun says positive tests in the state are now at 3.4 percent, which is down from 3.7 percent the previous week.

Hospitalizations and deaths continue to remain steady and low, particularly the deaths Khaldun said.

“These are all good signs, and we will continue to monitor these metrics. But as we all know, even if a trend is stabilizing it only takes a few people to create an outbreak and have the disease spread rapidly. These plateauing trends are not reasons to let our guard down,” she said.

The top category for outbreaks are:

  • skilled nursing facilities and other long term care facilities
  • social gatherings and schools
    • colleges
    • childcare centers
    • day camps

“Please know even though our recent numbers of deaths are low, we’re still learning everyday about new research on the longterm health impacts of Covid-19,” said Khaldun.

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Comments
  1. bonnie simmelink says:

    I hope she understands we know she doesn’t care about Michigan at all just do what the Democrats tell her to do in order to get the Vice President nomination or higher in the party!.

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