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Mid-Michigan counties downgraded to middle risk level for coronvirus spread

Michigan released a new MI Safe Start coronavirus risk map based on a revised ranking system.
Michigan released a new MI Safe Start coronavirus risk map based on a revised ranking system.(source: State of Michigan)
Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 2:50 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - All Mid-Michigan counties have been downgraded to a medium risk level for coronavirus spread after more than a month in the high risk category.

The state unveiled a revamped MI Safe Start color-coded risk level map late Tuesday with a new set of rankings based on letters. The Detroit and Saginaw regions, which encompass most of Mid-Michigan, have been placed at Level C -- the third highest.

Both regions had been under the High risk level on the previous rankings, which was the second highest, beginning in mid-August.

No regions are at the lowest ranking of Level A while the northern Lower Peninsula is ranked at Level B -- the second lowest. Lansing is ranked at the highest risk at Level E while West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula are at Level D.

The rankings are based on the daily number of newly confirmed cases per million people and the percentage of diagnostic coronavirus tests that come back positive each day.

The map rankings are separate from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s MI Safe Start economic engagement phases, which have not changed. The Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula remain at Phase 5 while the rest of the Lower Peninsula remains at Phase 4.

State health officials noted that the rate of new cases per million people confirmed every day and the percentage of coronavirus tests that came back positive both declined from mid-August to mid-September. Michigan’s coronavirus death rate was below one per 1 million people and has fallen for three weeks.

The Lansing region is seeing the fastest spread of coronavirus statewide with more than 100 new cases per million people every day, mostly from an outbreak tied to Michigan State University. Ingham County alone is seeing 175 newly confirmed coronavirus cases per million people every day.

Iosco County has the highest rate of coronavirus spread in Mid-Michigan with nearly 100 new cases per million people daily. Gratiot County is the next highest at 66 newly confirmed cases per million people every day, followed by Genesee and Midland counties with around 50 new cases per million people confirmed every day.

The statewide average for coronavirus spread is 53 new cases per million people every day with 3.1% of diagnostic tests coming back positive.

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