Mich. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to speak about COVID-19, upcoming election in Wednesday news conference

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will be speaking Wednesday, Sept. 16 with updates on COVID-19 in Michigan and on the upcoming election. 

She's called a news conference for 2:30 p.m., which you can watch on TV, at fox2detroit.com/live or in the video player below. 

Gov. Whitmer will be joined, per usual, by Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun to speak about the state of the virus in Michigan right now. Just this week, health officials began releasing outbreak information related to schools.

Using data from 45 health departments, the updates will be released every Monday at 3 p.m. and will include K-12, college and universities, number of cases, and if the cases involved staff, students, or both. It does not include cases where the virus was contracted from outside of the school.

The most glaring outbreak right now is in East Lansing where 203 confirmed cases have been found among students at Michigan State. The Ingham County Health Department ordered 30 large houses, including 23 fraternity and sorority houses, to quarantine for the next two weeks due to exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Gov. Whitmer will also be joined by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, who will give an update on the upcoming general election and voting opportunities Michiganders can take advantage of in advance of the Nov. 3 election.  

Just this week on Tuesday, the Michigan State Senate approved a bill allowing for faster processing of absentee votes. The GOP-controlled House will consider the measure next.

During the governor's last news conference, she announced the launch of the Futures for Frontliners program, which offers essential, frontline workers a tuition-free path to community college in Michigan. The program is the first-of-its-kind in the nation. You can read more about the program here.

Meanwhile, here is the case rate information for each region in Michigan, as per Dr. Khaldun during last week's news conference. 


Overall, Michigan is seeing an average of 55 cases per million people per day, which is a decrease since last week. 

The Detroit, Saginaw and Upper Peninsula regions all are seeing more than 40 cases per million people per day, but trends for new cases and percent positive are declining. 

The Grand Rapids, Jackson and Lansing regions also have more than 40 cases per million people per day but trends for case rates and percent positive are increasing. 

The Traverse City region is the lowest in the state, at 27 cases per million people per day with a 2.2% positivity. But trends for new cases and percent positive are also increasing. 

Information from Gov. Whitmer's 9/10 news conference


Testing continues to look good. Dr. Khaldun said Michigan continues to test more than 30,000 people per day, which is more than 2% of our state's population every week. 

The overall percent positive rate in Michigan has slightly increased to 3.2% from 3.1% the week prior. 

The goal is to get the percent positive below 3%, which would indicate community spread is not happening. 

Information from Gov. Whitmer's 9/10 news conference


Over the past week, local health departments have identified 61 new outbreaks, which is 32 fewer than the previous week and something Dr. Khaldun called "a great sign."

Officials are tracking 157 ongoing outbreaks across the state, which is 65 fewer than officials were tracking the previous week.

Dr. Khaldun said the top five places they're seeing outbreaks are in nursing facilities, manufacturing, health care, social gatherings and restaurants. 

Michigan officials are now also beginning to work with local health departments to be able to identify and publicize outbreaks at schools. Dr. Khaldun said the state will be posting information about outbreaks at schools, including colleges, next week. 

Information from Gov. Whitmer's 9/10 news conference