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Macomb County singled out as coronavirus hot spot in region

Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 1:00 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Macomb County has Michigan’s highest rate of coronavirus transmission, according to state officials.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, who is Michigan’s chief medical executive, pointed out the county is seeing an average of 82 positive coronavirus tests per million residents every day and 7.4% of tests are positive as of Friday. Those figures are significantly higher than the rest of the region.

Macomb County is part of the Detroit region on the MI Safe Start map, which also includes Genesee and Lapeer counties. The region as a whole is seeing about 45.3 positive tests per million people every day on average, but the city of Detroit is among the lowest at 26 positive tests per million.

Genesee County is the lowest in the region with 15 positive tests per million people daily on average while Lapeer County is seeing 21.1 positive tests per million people every day.

The Saginaw region on the MI Safe Start map is the next highest with 43.2 positive coronavirus tests per million people on average every day. Within the region, Saginaw and Bay counties both are seeing more than 70 positive tests per million every day while the rest are below 25.

“The virus is still very present among us and we must remain vigilant,” Khaldun said.

She said positive test rates are dropping in the Grand Rapids region, which had been increasing significantly in June and July. The Lansing, Traverse City, Jackson, Kalamazoo and Upper Peninsula regions also are seeing declines.

All of Michigan except the Traverse City region, which encompasses the northern Lower Peninsula, remains in the medium-high risk level on the MI Safe Start map. However, the Traverse City and Upper Peninsula regions are at Phase 5 of the MI Safe Start level of restrictions while the rest of the state remains at Phase 4.

The risk map shows how prevalent coronavirus is in each of the eight regions while the separate map of economic reopening phases determines which restrictions are in place for each region.

Khaldun said state health officials look at long-term trends over time to decide on adding or subtracting restrictions and moving regions among the MI Safe Start phases to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“Even if the trend is stabilizing, it only takes a few people to create an outbreak and see the disease spreading rapidly in a community,” she said.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer pointed out that Michigan is faring much better with coronavirus than southern states like Florida and Texas. Michigan also is seeing better numbers than many other Midwestern states currently.

“We should all be proud of what we’ve done,” she said.

Copyright 2020 WJRT. All rights reserved.

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