Five Upper Peninsula counties are now red, and Washtenaw has joined Kent, Kalamazoo and 10 other counties in the orange zone as the reopening of K-12 schools and colleges continue to spike Michigan’s coronavirus numbers.
The five counties coded red are Iron, Houghton, Delta, Menominee and Keweenaw. Red signals dangerously high levels of COVID-19, based on a metric developed by the Harvard Global Health Initiative to assess coronavirus risk levels.
The Harvard Institute metric uses a seven-day average of new cases per 100,000 residents. The newest assessment is based on data for Sept. 22-28.
Meanwhile, 13 counties are now coded orange, which signals accelerated spread. Those counties are Washtenaw, Kent, Ingham, Ottawa, Kalamazoo, Calhoun, Cass, Branch, Newaygo, Iosco, Baraga, Dickinson and Schoolcraft. The latter three are in the U.P.
The eight U.P. counties that are red and orange reported a total of 151 new cases for Sunday and Monday. They had a collective total of 519 cases for the past seven days; that’s almost a third of all the cases they’ve reported since the beginning of the pandemic.
Delta County, which includes Escanaba, had 52 new cases on Sunday and Monday. The issues in Delta include exposures at the Lake Shore music festival on Sept. 12, and outbreaks at several schools, including Escanaba Junior/Senior High School, Holy Name Catholic School and the Webster Kindergarten Center.
Houghton, which reported 20 new cases on Sunday and Monday, continues to struggle with an outbreak at Michigan Tech University, which announced this week it will move all classes to online through at least Oct. 12.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is visiting Houghton today. She expressed concern Monday about the coronavirus numbers in the Upper Peninsula, saying she’s keeping a close eye on the situation.
Outbreaks among college students and K-12 students also are fueling coronavirus in Kent, Washtenaw, Ingham, Ottawa and Kalamazoo.
Kent, which had 133 new cases Sunday and Monday, has reported outbreaks at Sparta, Grandville and Caledonia high schools, Sparta Middle School, and elementaries in Grandville and Sparta. The county also has clusters of cases at Calvin, Aquinas and Davenport colleges.
In Washtenaw, the county has reported 295 cases at University of Michigan and 28 at Eastern Michigan University. The county had 100 new cases for Sunday and Monday.
In Kalamazoo, 452 coronavirus cases have been reported at Western Michigan University, state data shows.
Compared to the other three counties, Ingham and Ottawa are the downslope of outbreaks linked to their universities. Ingham, home of Michigan State University, had 31 new cases for Monday and Sunday. Ottawa, which has quarantined students at Grand Valley State University, had 57.
At the other of the spectrum, seven Michigan counties are in the green zone as of Tuesday morning, based on the Harvard Institute metric. Those counties have minimal transmission of coronavirus right now.
Ontonagon no new cases in the past week. The other green counties are Clare, Benzie, Mason, which includes Ludington, and Chippewa, which includes Sault Ste. Marie.
The map below is shaded by the average number of new cases per day per 100,000 residents. The arrows indicate whether the total number of cases between Sept. 22-28 has gone up or down compared to the previous seven days (Sept. 15-21).
Readers can put their cursor over a county to see the underlying data. If you can’t see the map, click here.
Latest on coronavirus testing
Six Michigan counties have a positive rate of at least 5% in coronavirus tests reported in the last seven days ending Sept. 25. The state is averaging more than 30,000 tests a day.
Delta County had the highest seven-day average at 12.6%, followed by Iron (12%), Cass (7.8%), Houghton (7.6%), Macomb (5%) and Midland (5%)
Note: The number of positive tests does not match confirmed cases because a single patient may be tested multiple times.
The World Health Organization says schools are safe to reopen if fewer than 5% of coronavirus tests over the past two weeks are positive.
The map below shows the seven-day average testing rate by county. Once again, readers can put their cursor over a county to see the underlying data. If you can’t see the map, click here.
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, so numbers on Sept. 7, Sept. 14 and Sept. 21 cover two days.)
(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 Sunday and Monday, the state reported 1,308 new cases of the novel coronavirus and eight deaths..
The state’s seven-day average is now 761 new cases a day, compared to an average of 685 a week ago.
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.
COVID-19 PREVENTION TIPS:
In addition to washing hands regularly and not touching your face, officials recommend practicing social distancing, assuming anyone may be carrying the virus.
Health officials say you should be staying at least 6 feet away from others and working from home, if possible.
Use disinfecting wipes or disinfecting spray cleaners on frequently-touched surfaces in your home (door handles, faucets, countertops) and carry hand sanitizer with you when you go into places like stores.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has also issued executive orders requiring people to wear face coverings over their mouth and nosewhile in public indoor and crowded outdoor spaces. See an explanation of what that means here.
For more data on COVID-19 in Michigan, visit https://www.mlive.com/coronavirus/data/.
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