All eight of Michigan’s MI Start regions are now at the highest level the state uses to assess coronavirus risk.

Earlier this week, the Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo regions plus the Upper Peninsula were only regions at Level E, while the Detroit, Saginaw, Lansing, Jackson and Traverse City regions were at Level D.

As of Thursday, the entire state is at Level E, based on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ risk assessment scale that goes from “low” to Levels A-E.

MDHHS assigns an overall score to the state’s eight regions based on factors such as per-capita cases and deaths, test positivity rates, number of tests administered and emergency department visits for COVID-19 symptoms.

All those numbers have gotten significantly worse throughout the state in recent weeks and days. Thursday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer held a press conference in which she said that Michigan is “facing incredibly dire circumstances” as cases surge across the state, hospitals and public health departments are becoming overwhelmed and deaths are increasing, Whitmer said.

Gov Whitmer: Michigan is in the ‘worst part’ of coronavirus pandemic to date

Our interactive map below shows the eight regions and the counties that each includes.

(The state’s MI Start districts: Region 1 is the Detroit region; Region 2 is Grand Rapids; Region 3, Kalamazoo; Region 4, Saginaw; Region 5, Lansing; Region 6, Traverse City; Region 7, Lansing, and Region 8, the Upper Peninsula.)

Below, MLive applies the state’s metrics to two specific criteria — per-capita case numbers and testing positivity rates — to individual counties to help readers track coronavirus transmission in their community

Positivity rate

Of the 67,354 diagnostic tests processed in the state on Wednesday, 12.3% came back positive for COVID-19. The positive test rate has been higher than 10% for 10 consecutive days, suggesting a significant community spread of the virus.

The World Health Organization sets the threshold for safely reopening schools and economies at 5%.

Michigan’s seven-day average is 12%. The state now has 56 counties with a seven-day average positivity rate of more than 10%, and only one county with a rate under 3%.

Below are the state’s six risk levels for positivity rates on coronavirus tests and the breakdown of Michigan’s 83 counties based on a seven-day average.

  • Level E (over 20%): Dickinson, Baraga and Delta.
  • Level D (15-20%): 14 counties, highest to lowest — Muskegon, Ontonagon, Berrien, Hillsdale, Macomb, Bay, Van Buren, Branch, Oceana, Saginaw, Barry, Otsego, St. Joseph and Calhoun.
  • Level C (10-15%): 39 counties, highest to lowest — Lake, Monroe, Cass, Allegan, Ottawa, Lapeer, Newaygo, Genesee, Kent, St. Clair, Kalamazoo, Missaukee, Iosco, Oakland, Menominee, Osceola, Livingston, Tuscola, Emmet, Midland, Ionia, Crawford, Arenac, Gogebic, Kalkaska, Montmorency, Shiawassee, Marquette, Luce, Benzie, Wexford, Isabella, Wayne, Eaton, Clinton, Jackson, Antrim, Iron and Grand Traverse.
  • Level B (7-10%): 14 counties, highest to lowest — Lenawee, Mecosta, Clare, Roscommon, Leelanau, Montcalm, Ingham, Cheboygan, Charlevoix, Gladwin, Ogemaw, Huron, Alcona and Oscoda.
  • Level A (3-7%): 12 counties — Mason, Gratiot, Keweenaw, Sanilac, Houghton, Washtenaw, Chippewa, Alpena, Presque Isle, Mackinac, Alger and Manistee.
  • Low (under 3%): Schoolcraft.

The map below shows the seven-day average testing rate by county. If you can’t see the map, click here.

New cases per capita

New daily cases per capita is another metric used by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to access coronavirus risk.

In this metric — which calculates the average number of new cases per 1 million residents — all 83 counties are at Level E, the highest risk level on the MDHHS scale. The cutoff for Level E is 150 cases per day per million residents.

Here is an online database that allows readers to look up a county to see the number of new coronavirus cases in the past seven days compared to the previous week, as well as the per capita number that adjusts for population.

The counties are ranked by the per-capita rate, but you can click on the label of any category to sort by that category. Click once to rank by the lowest number and twice to rank by the highest number. Or you can search for a county by name.

Can’t see the chart? Click here.

The current scores are based on new cases reported Nov. 6-12. The map below is shaded based on the state’s six levels. The arrows indicate whether the total number of new cases reported in the last seven days has gone up or down compared to the previous seven days (Oct. 30-Nov. 5).

Readers can put their cursor over a county to see the underlying data. If you can’t see the map, click here. (Hint: You can drag the map with your cursor to see the entire U.P.)

Below are online databases that allow readers to look up county-level data for each of the last 20 days.

Cases by day it was reported to the state

First is a chart showing new cases reported to the state each day for the past 20 days. This is based on when a confirmed coronavirus test is reported to the state, which means the patient first became sick days before.

You can call up a chart for any county, and you can put your cursor over a bar to see the date and number of cases. (As of Sept. 1, the state stopped reporting numbers on Sundays.)

(In a few instances, a county reported a negative number (decline) in daily new cases, following a retroactive reclassification by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. In those instances, we subtracted cases from the prior date and put 0 in the reported date.)

The next chart below shows new cases for the past 20 days based on onset of symptoms. In this chart, numbers for the most recent days are incomplete because of the lag time between people getting sick and getting a confirmed coronavirus test result, which can take up to a week or more.

You can call up a chart for any county, and you can put your cursor over a bar to see the date and number of cases.

More localized maps

Below are two maps created by the EpiBayes research group at University of Michigan’s Department of Epidemiology, which has access to sub-county data collected by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The interactive maps break down the state into 10 kilometer hexogons to provide more a more localized look at where coronavirus cases are occurring. You can click here to get to the research project website.

The first map looks at confirmed and probable coronavirus cases in the past week. You can click on a hexagon to see the underlying data.

You can use the triangle button at the upper right of the map to toggle to the second map, which shows total confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Latest daily report

On Thursday, Nov. 12, the state reported 6,940 new cases of coronavirus and 45 new deaths.

The map below shows total confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths since the start of the pandemic. You can put your cursor over a county to see the underlying numbers.

For more statewide data, visit MLive’s coronavirus data page, here. To find a testing site near you, check out the state’s online test finder, here, send an email to COVID19@michigan.gov, or call 888-535-6136 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.

For more data on COVID-19 in Michigan, visit https://www.mlive.com/coronavirus/data/.

Read more on MLive:

Coronavirus overwhelming Michigan hospitals, leaders warn; ‘the system can capsize’

Rise in coronavirus cases prompts Kent County Probate Court to stop in-person hearings

How COVID-19 has changed the future of education



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