Case numbers are skyrocketing in Michigan, and the curve that had previously been flattened is now a straight line moving up, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a press conference Thursday. Hospitals are nearing capacity and are burning through the personal protection equipment they have been provided.
"We are in the worst part of this pandemic to date," Whitmer said. “... Unless we get our act together right now, we could be hitting our daily peak of deaths in Michigan come Christmas.”
Last Friday, the state recorded its 200,000th case of COVID-19. Every day in the last week, the U.S. has recorded over 100,000 new cases and is averaging about 1,000 deaths per day.
“Try to imagine 10 737 airplanes crashing to the ground every single day," Whitmer said. "That’s what we’re facing, a 9/11 every three days."
COVID-19 hospitalizations are up fivefold over the course of the last five weeks and the number of COVID-19 patients now stands at 60% of the April peak. Hospital workers expect the patient count across the state to double in the next two weeks to a new all-time high, Whitmer said.
Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said we are now seeing over 3,000 more new cases a day than we were just a month ago. The seven-day average for deaths is now seven times what it was in June.
In the Lansing region, case rates have reached up to 300 per million and test positivity between 6.3 and 10.9%.
Currently, Khaldun said they know of 747 active outbreaks in the state — the highest number since they began tracking and 25% more than reported one week ago. Of the current positive cases, only 28% were in quarantine at the time of their diagnosis.
As we head into the colder months and people spend more time inside, Whitmer said the pandemic will only become more dangerous. Nobody is immune to the effects of the virus.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has issued a number of emergency orders under the force of law. Among the orders, indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people, face masks are required in all public places and outdoor gatherings may not exceed 100 people.
“Just because you are allowed to do something, just because you can do something, doesn’t mean that it is a smart thing to do,” Whitmer said.
With Thanksgiving approaching, Whitmer highlighted the advice of medical experts strongly recommending against hosting the holiday with individuals outside of our own households.
The more people there are in a single home, there is an increased risk of spreading the virus and that people we love will die, Whitmer said.
Khaldun underscored this stating that testing before traveling only tells a person about their virus level on the day the sample was taken. Testing does not eliminate the need for prevention, Khaldun said.
“Please do not have a false sense of security about one negative test before you travel,” Khaldun said. “… If you are smart now you may be able to have a nice holiday with your loved ones alive at this time next year.”
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