Home Coronavirus ‘Social distancing is working’: Michigan chief medical executive said Wednesday

‘Social distancing is working’: Michigan chief medical executive said Wednesday

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer provides an update on the states efforts to minimize the threat of COVID-19 as the percentage of positive cases and number of death decline (photo courtesy Whitmer's press secretary).

Michigan remains under a stay-at-home order through May 28 as cases and deaths due to COVID-19 decline. 

“Right now there are a lot of signs to feel positive about,” Whitmer told reporters Wednesday. “But if this activity from the last week results in a spike, we’ll see it next week and we may have to take action or slow down.”

During a press briefing, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that the number of tests administered compared to the percentage of positive cases has reached the lowest mark since March. 

As of Sunday, 6.3% of tests have come back positive compared to 18.1% in March with a total of over 317,000 tests for the coronavirus given, according to Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Deputy. Currently there are 48,391 confirmed cases and 4,714 attributed to COVID-19. 

“There’s nothing wrong with getting outside… Movement in and of itself isn’t the problem,” Whitmer said, “the problem is when people are doing that and not observing the best practices.” 

However, she then advised people to stay home. 

“Really, don’t get out if you don’t really need to,” Whitmer urged. “You’re always safer at home.” 

Whitmer said that data predicts nearly 32,000 cases of COVID-19 have been avoided in Michigan because most people are “doing their part” and adhering to the guidelines within the MI Safe Start Plan. 

“Reopening too quickly will trigger another outbreak that we can’t control and none of us, none of us, wants that,” Whitmer said. 

Approximately 6% of the total number of positive cases have been linked to nursing care facilities with 3,089 confirmed cases of COVID-19 throughout 464 locations. 

“We are continuing to expand our COVID-19 regional hubs in the state,” Khaldun said. “We now have 21 of these designated nursing facilities that care for long-term care patients suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 but do not require hospital care.” 

As detailed last week, Whitmer said that Michigan remains in the third phase of this pandemic. The flattening phase means that the epidemic is no longer increasing and the healthcare system is equipped to meet the needs of citizens. 

When questioned if there were subjective markers that would move Michigan from one phase to the next, Whitmer said “there’s no textbook.” Human nature, access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and human activity will be significant factors, Whitmer advised. 

“There’s no special formula,” Khaldun said, adding that context within the variables is important to keep in mind. 

“If we keep observing these best practices we’re going to get stronger,” Whitmer said. “We’re going to be in a better position to start continuing to re-engage.”