SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (FOX 2) - On Saturday, November 21, 2020, the state of Michigan announced 7,528 new COVID-19 cases and 101 more deaths linked to the virus. The deaths announced today include 59 deaths identified during a Vital Records review.
The totals in the state since the start of the pandemic are now at 302,705, and 8,478 deaths.
You can see case rates and deaths from the weeks prior below.
THREE WEEK PAUSE
On Sunday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced new restrictions in place for at least three weeks as the state tries to find ways to slow the spread of COVID-19.
"We cannot control the fact we're seeing a surge in cases, we can control how we combat our common enemy," said Whitmer during a virtual Sunday night press conference held in Lansing.
Beginning Nov. 18 at 12:01 a.m., indoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people, and small outdoor gatherings will be limited to 25 people. The order will last until Dec. 9. Among Michigan's record-increase in new cases, health officials like Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said crowds of small and medium sizes were among the primary factors driving the spike.
Michigan's medical director Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said we can all take steps to make the case rate in the state better.
"The thing is, this is preventable," Khaldun said. "That is what gives me hope. There are concrete things we can do it."
Both urged that holiday plans should look different this year and urged Michiganders not to gather for Thanksgiving with people outside of their own households. If it must be done, masks, social distancing and frequent handwashing while indoors is strongly recommended.
PERCENT POSITIVE RATE
In Michigan, an average of 45,000 diagnostic tests are being done daily. Dr. Khaldun said that's the fifth largest number of total tests per state in the country.
Across the state, Michigan is still experiencing an exponential rise in cases. In the Traverse City area, there are 418 cases per million people while the Grand Rapids area has 934 cases per million people.
The state is also experiencing an increase in the percentage of tests that are positive with Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo experiencing 16% positivity rate.
Dr. Khaldun warned that Michigan hospitals are filling up and are, on average, at 79% capacity. Michigan also has the fourth-highest number of hospitalization, behind Texas, Illinois, and California.
She urged virtual gatherings and said if Thanksgiving get-togethers happen, we could be mourning a loved one by Near Year. She also said that, while news about two vaccines are encouraging, that's still several months away from being available to everyone.
"It will likely be well into the spring before the general public has access to the vaccine," she said.
She said Michigan will distribute the vaccine if the data proves it is safe and scientists and national experts agree that the vaccine is safe enough for all.
Information from Gov. Whitmer's 11/19 news conference.
OUTBREAKS AND CONTACT TRACING
Local health departments are tracking 747 outbreaks across the state right now, the largest number since the state began tracking outbreaks. She said that's also a 25% increase in outbreaks verse just one week ago.
The top categories for outbreaks continue to be long-term care facilities, manufacturing and schools. She said health departments are also seeing increasing outbreaks in healthcare settings and in restaurants and bars.
"Let me be very clear - our outbreak data is not perfect. It is only as good as the information we get from people who actually get a test done and, if their test is positive they have to tell us where they've been and who their contacts are. That system is strained right now," Dr. Khaldun said.
"Everyone who needs a test may not actually be getting one. And while our local health departments are doing their best, as they have been all year, the system is simply not keeping up. It, too, has limited capacity. Because there are now so many positive cases and those cases each have so many contacts, it is taking longer for us to reach all of them. This means there may be ppl walking around who are in close contact with a positive case and they don't even know it. In fact, only 28% - less than a third of positive cases we're investigating - were in quarantine at the time of their diagnosis. This means that over two-thirds of positive cases were out and potentially spreading the virus to others."
Michigan officials also recently rolled out the MI COVID Alert app to help notify of possible exposure and with contact tracing.
Authorities are still urging everyone to answer their phones if you get a call from the health department. Text messages are also now being sent in advance of the incoming call.
Meanwhile, everyone is also still reminded to keep doing the basics to stay healthy - wear a mask, wash your hands and keep your distance from other people.
Information from Gov. Whitmer's 11/12 news conference
On Monday, Sept. 14, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services started tracking outbreaks in schools across the entire state.
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.
PREVIOUS DAILY COVID-19 CASE COUNTS AND DEATHS
- Friday, Nov 20 - 9,779 cases, 53 deaths
- Thursday, Nov. 19 - 7,592 cases, 134 deaths (61 from a review of vital records)
- Wednesday, Nov. 18 - 5,772 cases and 62 deaths
- Tuesday, Nov. 17 - 7,458 cases, 79 deaths (24 from a review of vital records)
- Monday, Nov. 16 - 12,763, 55 deaths over two days as the state no longer reports cases on Sundays
- Saturday, Nov. 14 - 7,072 cases, 65 deaths (36 from a review of vital records)
- Friday, Nov. 13 - 8,516 cases, 118 deaths (83 from a review of vital records)
- Thursday, Nov. 12 - 6,940 cases, 45 deaths
- Wednesday, Nov. 11 - 6,008 cases, 42 deaths
- Tuesday, November 10 - 6,473 cases, 84 deaths (25 from vital records review)
- Monday, November 9 - 9,010 cases, 62 deaths over two days as the state no longer reports cases on Sundays
- Saturday, November 7 - 6,225 cases, 65 deaths
- Friday, November 6 - 3,763 cases, 43 deaths
- Thursday, November 5 - 5,710 cases, 51 deaths (26 from vital records review)
- Wednesday, November 4 - 4,101 cases, 19 deaths
- Tuesday, November 3 - 3,106 cases, 43 deaths (17 from vital records review)
- Monday, November 2 - 6,709 cases, 17 deaths over two days as the state no longer reports cases on Sundays
- Saturday, October 31 - 3,792 cases, 31 deaths (20 identified through vital records review)
- Friday, October 30 - 3,168 cases, 11 deaths
- Thursday, October 29 - 3,675 cases, 41 deaths (22 identified through vital records review)
- Wednesday, October 28 - 3,271 cases, 18 deaths
- Tuesday, October 27 - 2,367 cases, 28 deaths (8 identified through vital records review)
- Monday, October 26 - 3,881 cases, 29 deaths over two days as the state no longer reports cases on Sundays
- Saturday, October 24 - 3,338 cases, 35 deaths
- Friday, October 23 - 1,826 cases, 18 deaths
- Thursday, October 22 - 1,873 cases, 43 deaths (31 identified through vital records review)
- Wednesday, October 21 - 1,597 cases, 33 deaths
- Tuesday, October 20 - 1,586 cases, 22 deaths (1 identified through vital records review)
- Monday, October 19 - 2,909 cases, 21 deaths over two days as the state no longer reports cases on Sundays