Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s what to know Nov. 22, 2020

DETROIT – The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 302,705 as of Saturday, including 8,478 deaths, state officials report.

Saturday’s update represents 7,528 new cases and 101 additional deaths, including 59 deaths identified during a Vital Records review.

On Friday, the state reported a total of 9,779 new cases and 53 additional deaths.

Friday’s update represents Michigan’s highest single-day total by 1,263 cases. The state reported 8,516 new cases on Nov. 13.

On Saturday, the state of Michigan reported a total of 152,267 recoveries.

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: 97 takeaways from epidemiologist’s deep-dive into Michigan COVID-19 spread, deaths, future outlook

Michigan’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 7,025 on Thursday, the highest it has ever been. The 7-day death average was 70, the highest since May. The state’s fatality rate is 2.9%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 137,000 on Thursday, near its highest mark on record.


Michigan coronavirus headlines:


VIEW: Tracking Michigan COVID-19 testing data

VIEW: Tracking coronavirus cases, outbreaks in Michigan schools


What does emergency use of a COVID-19 vaccine mean?

Pfizer formally asked U.S. regulators Friday to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine. Emergency use of a vaccine is when regulators allow shots to be given to certain people while studies of safety and effectiveness are ongoing.

Before any vaccine is permitted in the U.S., it must be reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration, which requires study in thousands of people. Normally, the process to approve a new vaccine can take about a decade. But the federal government is using various methods to dramatically speed up the process for COVID-19 vaccines.

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.

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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.

‘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.

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“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.

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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 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.

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%.

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Coronavirus research headlines:


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

  • Nov. 1 — 3,354 new cases
  • Nov. 2 — 3,355 new cases
  • Nov. 3 — 3,106 new cases
  • Nov. 4 — 4,101 new cases (new single-day record)
  • Nov. 5 — 5,710 new cases (new single-day record)
  • Nov. 6 — 3,763 new cases
  • Nov. 7 — 6,225 new cases (new single-day record)
  • Nov. 8 — 4,505 new cases
  • Nov. 9 — 4,505 new cases
  • Nov. 10 — 6,473 new cases (new single-day record)
  • Nov. 11 — 6,008 new cases
  • Nov. 12 — 6,940 new cases (new single-day record)
  • Nov. 13 — 8,516 new cases (new single-day record)
  • Nov. 14 — 7,072 new cases
  • Nov. 15 — 6,381 new cases
  • Nov. 16 — 6,382 new cases
  • Nov. 17 — 7,458 new cases
  • Nov. 18 — 5,772 new cases
  • Nov. 19 — 7,592 new cases
  • Nov. 20 — 9,779 new cases (new single-day record)
  • Nov. 21 — 7,528 new cases

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)
  • Nov. 18 — 62 new deaths
  • Nov. 19 — 134 new deaths (61 from vital records)
  • Nov. 20 — 53 new deaths
  • Nov. 21 — 101 new deaths

Coronavirus resources:


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