Gov. Whitmer provides COVID-19 update as cases and hospitalizations mount
State expanding use of three therapeutic treatments to lower hospitalization rate
LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer provided an update on Michigan’s COVID-19 situation on Wednesday as key statistics for the illness continue climbing to near record levels.
Whitmer took part in a press conference from Lansing at 3 p.m. with Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, who is Michigan’s chief medical executive. They discussed expanded use of therapeutic treatments for COVID-19 and addressed the current surge of the illness around the state.
The number of new COVID-19 cases in Michigan on Tuesday was the second highest total for a single day since the coronavirus pandemic started. The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized increased to about 100 fewer than the all time record set in late November.
The percentage of positive COVID-19 tests reached 11-month highs of more than 17% last week before falling to less than 15% early this week.
Michigan is averaging over 6,500 new COVID-19 cases per day and nearly 18% of inpatient hospital beds across the state are occupied by patients with the illness.
Despite the key COVID-19 numbers climbing, Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services have rejected calls to increase restrictions again. Whitmer said the orders currently in place are adequate to prevent the illness from spreading, but more people need to comply.
Last week, Whitmer issued recommendations for high schools to close for in-person learning for two weeks, youth sports to pause during that time and diners to consider takeout service or outdoor seating so they can avoid eating in restaurant dining rooms.
However, that advice was not in the form of mandates, so high schools, sports teams and restaurants can remain open subject to COVID-19 orders previously announced.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director encouraged state health officials to ratchet up restrictions, as Michigan currently has the highest rate of COVID-19 spread in the U.S.
Whitmer has asked the White House to send more COVID-19 vaccine doses to Michigan in light of the illness surge, but President Joe Biden so far has not agreed.
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