DETROIT (FOX 2) - On Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, the state of Michigan reported another 2,706 cases of COVID-19 and 222 more deaths, 206 of which came from a review of vital records.
That puts the state's totals at 519,082 cases and 13,354 deaths. You can see a record of recent daily case rates below.
On Monday, Jan. 4 the state surpassed 500,000 confirmed cases of the virus. The grim benchmark represents 1/20th of the state's total population that has now tested positive for a virus after the first case was reported in Michigan in March. Since then, the COVID-19 virus has wreaked havoc on the state's public health and economic groups.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used the day to offer a positive spin on the newest daily totals.
"Now, there is hope on the horizon. My administration, led by Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, has been working with local health officials and health care providers to begin distributing the safe and effective vaccine, starting with our most vulnerable populations like health care workers and skilled nursing home residents and staff," Whitmer said. "We must remember that it will take some time for the vaccine to be widely available to all Michiganders, and until then, we must continue to do our part to keep ourselves and our fellow Michiganders safe."
GOV. WHITMER CALLS FOR IN-PERSON LEARNING OPTION BY MARCH 1
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the state health department announced Friday they are strongly encouraging school districts to offer in-person learning to pre-k12 students by March 1.
The state said its goal is to have all districts in the state offering learning in the classroom by no later than the beginning of March.
The governor's encouragement comes after she announced plans to move Michigan into phase 2 of its vaccine administration, which makes educators like teachers eligible for inoculation.
MICHIGAN ENTERS NEXT PHASE OF VACCINATIONS
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Wednesday that the state is moving on to its next phase of distributing the COVID-19 vaccine. This means Michiganders over 65, frontline workers, essential first responders, and teachers will be eligible to get the shot beginning Jan. 11, 2021.
All counties may begin vaccinating residents over age 65 and seniors are urged to visit Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine to find local health departments and other local vaccine clinics near them that are ready to book appointments.
Eligible essential workers, teachers and childcare workers will be notified by their employers about vaccine clinic dates and locations. Eligible individuals should not go to any of the clinics without an appointment.
Phases are as follows:
- Phase 1A: Paid and unpaid persons serving in healthcare settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials and are unable to work from home as well as residents in long term care facilities.
- Phase 1B: Persons 75 years of age or older and frontline essential workers in critical infrastructure.
- Phase 1C: Individuals 16 years of age or older at high risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 infection and some other essential workers whose position impacts life, safety and protection during the COVID-19 response.
- Phase 2: Individuals 16 years of age or older.
CASE, HOSPITAL AND PERCENT POSITIVITY RATES IN MICHIGAN
As of January 8, 2021, health officials are continuing to see improvements - but may be seeing some plateau - in three key COVID-19 metrics in the state.
Michigan is seeing an average of 222 cases per million people per day. Dr. Khaldun said earlier this week these case rates have plateaued after having been clearly declining over the previous 46 days.
The case rate is still currently two times what it was in the beginning of October. The average case rate in Michigan peaked at 739 cases per million on Nov. 14.
The percent of hospital beds being used for COVID-19 patients is continuing to decline. As of Jan. 8, the capacity was at 12.8% for beds with COVID-19 patients. This peaked at 20.1% on Dec. 1.
The state is seeing a slight increase in test positivity, which could be attributed to a dip in testing over the holidays. As of Jan. 8, Dr. Khaldun said the percent positivity is at 9.3%, up from 8.2% on Dec. 27. Dr. Khaldun has said a percent positive rate below 3% indicates community spread isn't happening.
MDHHS LIFTS SOME RESTRICTIONS, EXTENDS OTHERS
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced in December 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.
Last month, 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.
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
- Friday, Jan. 8 - 3,625 cases, 38 deaths
- Thursday, Jan. 7 - 4,015 cases, 176 more deaths (138 from vital records review)
- Wednesday, Jan. 6 - 4,326 cases, 51 deaths
- Tuesday, Jan. 5 - 2,291 cases, 189 more deaths on Tuesday (117 from vital records review)
- Monday, Jan. 4 - 4,992 cases, 80 deaths over two days as the state no longer reports data on Sundays
- Saturday, Jan. 2 - 8,983 cases, 265 deaths (includes data over three days)
- Saturday, Dec. 19 (2020) - 3,896 cases, 187 deaths (155 from vital records review)
- Friday, Dec. 18 (2020) - 4,180 cases, 66 deaths
- Thursday, Dec. 17 (2020) - 4,024 cases, 190 deaths (125 from vital record review)
- Wednesday, Dec. 16 (2020) - 4,037 cases, 83 deaths
- Tuesday, Dec. 15 (2020) - 4,730 cases, 183 deaths (71 from vital records review)
- Monday, Dec. 14 (2020) - 7,205 cases, 90 deaths over two days as the state no longer reposts data on Sundays
- Saturday, Dec. 12 (2020) - 4,486 cases, 206 deaths (176 from vital records review)
- Friday, Dec. 11 (2020) - 5,157 cases, 61 deaths
- Thursday, Dec. 10 (2020) - 5,937 cases, 182 deaths (132 from vital records review)
- Wednesday, Dec. 9 (2020) - 4,905 cases, 75 deaths
- Tuesday, Dec. 8 (2020) - 5,909 cases, 191 deaths (79 from vital records review)
- Monday, Dec. 7 (2020) - 9,350 cases, 93 deaths over two days as the state no longer reports cases on Sundays
- Thursday, Dec. 3 (2020) - 7,146 new cases, 175 deaths (112 from vital records review)
- Wednesday, Dec. 2 (2020) - 6,955 new cases, 81 deaths
- Tuesday, Dec. 1 (2020) - 5,793 cases, 190 deaths (30 deaths from vital records review)
- Monday, Nov. 30 (2020) - 10,428 cases, 98 deaths over two days as the state no longer reports cases on Sundays
- Saturday, Nov. 28 (2020) - 8,080 cases, 103 deaths (70 deaths from a vital records review)