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COVID-19 cases ‘plateauing’ in Michigan, but possibility of outbreaks still looms large

Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 3:55 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) -

Nearly five months since the COVID-19 pandemic reached Michigan, cases are stabilizing again.

This according to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration. It’s not all good news though, as the state is still identifying frequent sources of outbreaks.

After an uptick in cases in June and July, the state of Michigan is starting to see a plateau in the spread of Coronavirus. This is thanks in part to increased testing. The state is conducting 28,000 tests a day, which makes up 2% of the state’s population a week.

“The good news is, is that the percent of our tests that are positive is also now trending down,” said Michigan’s Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun.

But, Dr. Khaldun says, that doesn't mean Michiganders can relax yet.

“It only takes a few people to create an outbreak and have the disease spread rapidly,” said Dr. Khaldun. “So these plateauing trends are not reasons to let our guard down. Local health departments reported 99 new outbreaks last week.

“The top categories for outbreaks are skilled nursing facilities and other long term care facilities, social gatherings and schools,” said Dr. Khaldun. “That includes colleges, childcare centers and day camps.”

Colleges are readying to get back to school in the next few weeks, with K-12 schools following suit shortly afterwards. Governor Whitmer says that she wants districts to have a clear plan for every phase ready as soon as possible.

“This is a decision that has to be made at the local level though, because in Lansing, I can’t tell you precisely what the individual assets and challenges are of all these hundreds of districts that we have,” said Whitmer. “That’s why the school board is there, and that’s why the superintendent is there.”

The governor, once again renewing her plea for mask wearing, saying compliance is crucial to resuming face to face learning.

Governor Whitmer also declaring racism a public health crisis during her press conference. As part of this declaration, she signed an executive order that mandates bias training for the Department of Health and Human Services as it relates to health care. The order is also designed to bring more people of color, women, and members of the LGBTQ+ community to the table for decision making at the state level for matters of health care.

Copyright 2020 WLUC. All rights reserved.

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