Michigan Has Deadliest Day in Six Months for COVID-19

Michigan health officials reported 59 deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday, the deadliest day in six months. The state also had a record number of new coronavirus cases, with nearly 6,500. COVID-19 is surging again in Michigan, after a decrease in cases over the summer. That came after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders and other restrictions. The positivity rate in Michigan is 9.4%, up from 4.9% two weeks ago.

Saginaw County has now passed the 5,000 mark for positive COVID-19 cases since the pandemic started in March. That’s because 255 people tested positive for the virus between Monday and Tuesday of this week. The Saginaw County Health Department’s daily report also showed 4 deaths in that time period. In all, Saginaw County cases now total 5,180 since March. 1,988 people have recovered from COVID-19 and 160 have died.

The Bay County Health Officer and the President/CEO of McLaren Bay Region (MBR) released a statement this week, urging Bay County residents to take all the actions necessary to reduce a current surge in cases there. Bay County offfcials said the growing number of cases is driving increased hospitalizations and deaths, especially among the most vulnerable residents.

Bay County Health Department (BCHD) reports confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Bay County residents numbered 430 during the first week of November. That compares to 195 cases during the entire month of September and 590 during October. The positivity rate for those tested for COVID-19 has also been climbing, and is now approaching 10%. It was less than 2%  a month ago. There have been 67 deaths from COVID-19 among Bay County residents, including 3 fatalities during a recent 24-hour period.

Bay County officials said the current surge has the potential to overwhelm the healthcare system, and ask the community take all the actions necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19:

1. Wear a mask: anytime you might end up being in close proximity to persons from outside
your household.

2. Watch your distance: maintain at least 6 feet of separation from other persons whenever

3. Wash your hands: using soap and water for at least 20 seconds or else using alcohol-
based hand sanitizer.

4. Avoid poorly ventilated spaces: meet outdoors whenever possible if you will be gathering
with other persons from outside your household.

5. Avoid crowds: limit the duration of time you spend in public venues and limit your number
of close contacts among persons from outside your household.

6. Quarantine when exposed: if you were identified as a close contact to a person deemed
infectious, remain at home until 14 days have elapsed since your most recent exposure
to any infectious person.

7. Get tested: if you develop COVID-like symptoms, seek testing promptly and self-isolate
while awaiting results.

8. Self-isolate when infected: if you test positive for COVID-19, remain at home until 10
days have elapsed since the onset of your symptoms (or since testing was performed if
you remain symptom free).
Please do your part and help minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Gov. Whitmer has sent a letter to President Trump requesting an extension of Title 32 authority in order to use Michigan National Guard forces to combat the spread of COVID-19 through March for response to the virus and vaccine-related activities. Title 32 status, which provides for federal pay and benefits, is currently authorized by the President through December 31. Since the pandemic began, Michigan National Guard members have helped distribute more than 14 million pounds of food at food banks, delivered tests and protective equipment across the state, and assisted with testing more than 200 thousand Michiganders for COVID-19