The totals in the state since the start of the pandemic are now at 454,956 cases and 11,274 deaths.
You can see case rates and deaths from the weeks prior below.
MDHHS LIFTS SOME RESTRICTIONS, EXTENDS OTHERS
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Friday that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is lifting some of the COVID-19 restrictions that were set in place Nov. 15 in a "pause to save lives" and extending others.
Casinos, movie theaters, bowling alleys and in-person learning at high schools and universities are allowed to reopen and resume.
Other restrictions have been extended through January 15, 2021, meaning indoor dining is still prohibited, night clubs are still closed and organized indoor sports are still barred. Workplaces, when work can be done from home, are also not allowed to reopen yet, and group fitness classes are still not allowed to resume.
KEY COVID-19 METRICS IMPROVING IN MICHIGAN
As of December 18, the state's medical director Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said health officials are seeing improvements in three key COVID-19 metrics in the state.
Case rates in the state have been declining in all regions for 27 days now and is at 439 cases per million people per day. The average case rate in Michigan peaked at 739 cases per million on Nov. 14.
The percent positive rate has been declining in the state for 11 days now and is at 10.6%. This rate recently peaked at 14.3% on Dec. 4.
Dr. Khaldun has said a percent positive rate below 3% indicates community spread isn't happening.
Also, the percent of hospital beds being used for COVID-19 patients has been declining in Michigan for the past 13 days. Right now, the current capacity is at 17.3% for beds with COVID-19 patients. This recently peaked at 20.1% on Dec. 1.
Last week, the FDA approved use of the Pfizer vaccine, ushering in the biggest vaccination effort in U.S. history — one that health officials hope the American public will embrace, even as some have voiced initial skepticism or worry.
Michigan is expecting about 80,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the first shipment from the federal government. You can read more about that here.
Michigan health officials have also laid out the prioritization plan for who will be receiving the vaccine. Frontline healthcare workers are the top priority. You can read more about that here.
The vaccine is anticipated to be available to the general population in Michigan in spring 2021.
You can see more about the vaccine status in Michigan on the state's dashboard here.
Meanwhile, health officials stress everyone still continues wearing their mask, practice social distancing and wash their hands. Even though the vaccines appear to be very effective, more research must still be done to see if people who got the vaccine can spread the virus to other people.
CHRISTMAS AT HOME
Gov. Whitmer urged Michigan residents to stay home this Christmas, saying that if we want to gather in 2021, as we did in 2019, we should spend 2020 at home.
"No matter what we show in the next 12 days, I am discouraging people from gathering for Christmas. It doesn't mean we cancel Christmas, it means we celebrate in a responsible way and we make our plan, now," Whitmer said. "If our numbers come down a good amount, it still doesn't mean COVID is gone by Christmas."
Whitmer said people should find ways to be together in spirit.
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.
Dr. 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.
Dr. Khaldun said on Dec. 1 that contact tracing is at the highest it's been during the pandemic. Healthcare workers are able to do outreach to about 3,000 positive new cases a day - but with several straight weeks of more than 5,000 new cases per day, the system still cannot keep up.
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.
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
- Thursday, Dec. 17 - 4,024 cases, 190 deaths (125 from vital record review)
- Wednesday, Dec. 16 - 4,037 cases, 83 deaths
- Tuesday, Dec. 15 - 4,730 cases, 183 deaths (71 from vital records review)
- Monday, Dec. 14 - 7,205 cases, 90 deaths over two days as the state no longer reposts data on Sundays
- Saturday, Dec. 12 - 4,486 cases, 206 deaths (176 from vital records review)
- Friday, Dec. 11 - 5,157 cases, 61 deaths
- Thursday, Dec. 10 - 5,937 cases, 182 deaths (132 from vital records review)
- Wednesday, Dec. 9 - 4,905 cases, 75 deaths
- Tuesday, Dec. 8 - 5,909 cases, 191 deaths (79 from vital records review)
- Monday, Dec. 7 - 9,350 cases, 93 deaths over two days as the state no longer reports cases on Sundays
- Thursday, Dec. 3 - 7,146 new cases, 175 deaths (112 from vital records review)
- Wednesday, Dec. 2 - 6,955 new cases, 81 deaths
- Tuesday, Dec. 1 - 5,793 cases, 190 deaths (30 deaths from vital records review)
- Monday, Nov. 30 - 10,428 cases, 98 deaths over two days as the state no longer reports cases on Sundays
- Saturday, Nov. 28 - 8,080 cases, 103 deaths (70 deaths from a vital records review)
- Thursday & Friday Nov. 26-27 - 17,162 172 deaths
- Wednesday, Nov. 25 - 4,273 cases, 73 deaths
- Tuesday, Nov. 24 - 6,290 cases, 145 deaths (51 from vital records review)
- Monday, Nov. 23 - 11,511 cases, 65 deaths over two days as the state no longer reports cases on Sundays
- Saturday, Nov. 21 - 7,528 cases, 101 deaths (59 from vital records review)
- 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)