On 2-year anniversary of coronavirus in Michigan, expert believes we are 'rounding the corner'

State health officials withdrew their indoor mask guidance recently signaling a change in the fight against COVID-19.

"Lots and lots of people were just looking at this one disease, and because of that, care for those Covid patients advanced a lot faster than other diseases," said Naomi Ishioka.

Ishioka is the emergency preparedness coordinator for the Beaumont Hospital Troy. She has been on the front lines of the pandemic since the beginning - and has seen how far we’ve come.  

"Covid, all of that research was just so concentrated, that we had fewer people dying, the vaccine saves lives, medication saves lives, appropriate early care saves lives, these things we know about other diseases, we learned a lot faster with Covid."

Covid numbers have continued to decline, but the state has still felt the pain of the pandemic. There has been more than two million reported cases in Michigan and more than 32,000 deaths. But through that, we’ve seen significant advancements.

"We learned that instead of putting somebody on a ventilator, we could use, for instance, high-flow oxygen."

Ishioka says cooperation between hospital systems ramped up to fight the virus

"We looked at working to care for the community as a whole," she said. "Whether it was the vaccination clinics, whether it was taking care of Covid patients, sharing ventilators, sharing equipment."

FOX 2: "Do you think we are rounding the corner?"

"I do," she said. "I think there may be setbacks, if you look at statistics, we've been up, down with numbers. But I actually do think that we have drugs that work, we have a vaccine so that people who want to protect themselves can protect themselves."

And some more good news, state health officials think we might see more predictable surges. There are also new community-level metrics  that take into consideration case numbers as well as the impact on heatlh care.