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From 1 to 1,000: The development of COVID-19 in Ingham County over 5 months

July 23, 2020
<p>Map by The State News.</p>

Map by The State News.

The first case of coronavirus in Ingham County was reported more than five months ago, Feb. 20, according to the Ingham County Health Department (ICHD) digital dashboard.

That means Ingham residents have spent more than one-third of 2020 in isolation, while health professionals race to create a lasting drug treatment or vaccine to end the war with the novel respiratory illness that has knocked out both our population and our economy.

To date, the New York Times has tracked more than 3.9 million confirmed positive cases and approximately 142,000 deaths in the U.S.

According to a U.S. Census Bureau database, the population of Michigan was approximately 10 million as of July 1, 2019.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has performed more than 1.5 million viral, or diagnostic, and approximately 200,000 antibody, or serology, tests, tracking approximately 83,000 cases and 6,400 deaths — these numbers include both confirmed and probable aspects.

Scaling inward, ICHD has tracked approximately 1,200 confirmed positive cases and 29 deaths. While the case count grows each day, ICHD Health Officer Linda Vail said in media briefing July 14 that the death count has been stable since about June 10.

What happened?

As expected with COVID-19's caliber, things were on a steady incline between the months of March and June in Ingham County.

In an older version of the map by COVID Act Now, Michigan was even shown as one of only two states on track for a real and effective containment.

Nevertheless, when executive orders loosened restrictions and the antsy public found a bit more freedom, an outbreak occurred at Harper's Restaurant and Brewpub, warranting a major spike in cases and ultimately relaunching the high-risk state of emergency until Aug. 11.

Vail said in a press release July 15 that while numbers are on the downward trend once again, every day is just as unpredictable and unprecedented as the last.

The county has since seen localized directives that target and cut off restaurant capacity at 50%, or 125 patrons, to reduce the chances of an incident like Harper's from happening again.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has also begun to buckle down on her #MaskUpMichigan mandate, threatening residents who are willfully in violation with a misdemeanor and fine.

There have also been several other outbreaks within Ingham and its surrounding counties.

Vail said the health department is getting ready to close out the Harper's incident. With the case count halted around 187, it's been more than one month since the final exposure date of June 20.

On top of that, Vail tallied 12 cases from Ingham County Jail; 21 cases spread out among Ingham (14), Clinton (5) and Eaton (2) counties from Riverfront Animal Hospital; and three cases spread out among Clinton (1), Ingham (1) and Isabella (1) counties from a Sprint store on East Edgewood Boulevard.

It's also important to note the minor, lower-risk exposures that took place on a handful of CATA bus routes and at HopCat bar and restaurant. Vail said, at this time, they have not heard word of any connected community cases from these incidents, though contact tracing investigations and closures for deep cleaning are ongoing.

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Breaking down COVID-19 statistics.

The ICHD website has broken down the cumulative overview into smaller, demographically-centered numbers and percentages.

According to another U.S. Census Bureau database, the population of Ingham County was approximately 292,000 as of July 1, 2019:

  • 75.6% identified as white
  • 12.4% identified Black or African American
  • 7% identified as Asian
  • 0.6% identified American Indian and Alaska Native
  • 0.1% identified Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
  • 8% identified as Hispanic or Latinos
  • 4.2% are two or more races

Of that, the individuals infected with COVID-19 are:

  • 54% white
  • 25% Black or African American
  • 10% Asian
  • 11% are other than or unknown

The database also logged that of those who were infected by COVID-19:

  • 5.5% are under the age of 5
  • 19.7% are under the age of 18
  • 13.9% are under the age of 65

Additionally, 31% of the individuals infected with COVID-19 are between the ages of 20-29 — 12% of the individuals are younger and 57% are older than this median.

Similarly, 9.9% of residents were found to be under the age of 65 with a disability between 2014-2018 and 6.3% are found to be under the age of 65 without health insurance.

In terms of sex, the individuals with COVID are split nearly 50/50, give or take a few cases:

Out of Ingham County's 25 zip codes, the 48911 area has the highest range of individuals infected with COVID-19, resting between 281 and 290.

Other zip codes and their case ranges include:

  • 1-10: 48819, 48827, 48933, 49251, 49264, 49285
  • 11-20: 48892
  • 21-30: 48840, 48917
  • 31-40: 48895
  • 51-60: 48915
  • 61-70: 48842
  • 71-80: 48854, 48864
  • 81-90: 48912, 48906
  • 141-150: 48910
  • 231-240: 48823

48821, 48825, 48872 are listed as 0.

The status of patients changes daily. On July 21, of the population:

  • 827 (66%) have recovered
  • 401 (32%) are at home under monitoring
  • 29 (2%) have died
  • 1 (0%) are hospitalized, 0 are in the intensive care unit (ICU)


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