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 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 Monday, the state reported 1,809 new cases of coronavirus for Sunday and Monday.
The state’s seven-day average is now 1,082 new cases a day, compared to an average of 884 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.
Additional information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.
For more data on COVID-19 in Michigan, visit https://www.mlive.com/coronavirus/data/.
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