Coronavirus transmission rates are heading into worrisome territory in large swaths of Michigan, including most of the state’s urban counties outside of metro Detroit/Ann Arbor.
That includes metro Grand Rapids and Lansing, as well as the Flint, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Jackson and Benton Harbor/St. Joseph areas. Twenty-two counties in the Lower Peninsula are now coded orange, based on a metric developed by the Harvard Global Health Initiative to assess coronavirus risk levels. That compares to 10 counties in the Lower Peninsula two weeks ago.
Orange signifies heightened concern, according to the Harvard Institute, which looks at the seven-day average of new cases per 100,000 residents. The newest assessment is based on data for Oct. 6-12.
Four counties went from yellow to orange as a result of Monday’s numbers. Those counties: Allegan, Van Buren, Lenawee and Clinton.
Already in the orange zone: Kent, Ottawa, Genesee, Ingham, Kalamazoo, Calhoun, Jackson, Eaton, Ionia, Berrien, Isabella, Clare, Barry, Mecosta, Newaygo, Gratiot, Cass and St. Joseph.
Meanwhile, coronavirus continues to rage in the Upper Peninsula, where 14 of the 15 counties in the Upper Peninsula are red or orange
The code red counties — with dangerously high level of the virus — are Iron, Houghton, Delta, Dickinson, Menominee, Mackinac and Keweenaw. The orange counties are Marquette, Gogebic, Ontonagon, Schoolcraft, Luce, Alger and Baraga.
The only U.P. county not on those lists are Chippewa, which includes Sault Ste. Marie.
At the other of the spectrum, two Michigan counties — Alcona and Wexford — are in the green zone as of Tuesday morning, based on the Harvard Institute metric. Those counties have minimal transmission of coronavirus right now.
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 Oct. 6-12 has gone up or down compared to the previous seven days (Sept. 29-Oct 5).
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
Thirteen Michigan counties have a positive rate of at least 5% in coronavirus tests reported in the last seven days ending Oct. 11. The state is averaging almost 35,000 tests a day, and the state’s seven-day average positivity rate is 3.7%.
Dickinson County had the highest seven-day average at 19.2%, followed by Mackinac (12.8%), Luce (9.9%), Houghton (9%), Isabella (7.5%), Kalamazoo (7.4%), Delta (7.3%), Barry (6.6%), Genesee (5.9%), Macomb (5.6%), Iosco (5.4%), Calhoun (5.4%) and Mecosta (5.2%).
Note: The number of positive tests does not match confirmed cases because a single patient may be tested multiple times.
The federal Centers for Disease Control says schools are safe to open if fewer than 5% of coronavirus tests over the past week 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