News Story

Metrics Appear To Meet Goals Specified To Reopen Michigan

Fewer COVID cases in hospital, fewer confirmed new daily cases, fewer positives in those who get tested

The state of Michigan appears to have met the three key metrics that officials said would determine whether they will allow the current COVID-19 lockdown to be lifted. Officials said they wanted them to decline, and all three have fallen since the current lockdown was ordered on Nov. 15.

This lockdown has, among other things, closed all Michigan bars and restaurants for indoor dining. It took effect on Nov. 18 and remains in place as of Jan 11.

Officials have indicated that before allowing the state to reopen, they wanted to see a declining trend in three specific numbers: percentage of adult inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients; COVID-19 cases per 1,000,000 residents; and percentage of COVID-19 tests that are positive.

Note that the number of people who have tested positive for the disease is likely a fraction of the number who have actually contracted it, since many never get tested because they have few or no symptoms.

Here are the figures and trends for those indicators:

Percentage of adult inpatient beds in hospitals occupied by COVID-19 patients:

Nov. 13: 3,564 COVID-19 patients and 21,335 adult hospital beds — 16.7% COVID-19 occupancy rate

Jan. 8: 2,516 COVID-19 patients and 21,446 adult hospital beds —11.7% COVID-19 occupancy rate

COVID-19 cases per 1,000,000 residents (7-day average)

Nov. 15: 733 per million

Jan. 9: 192 per million

Percentage of COVID-19 tests that are positive (7-day average)

Nov. 15: 13.9%

Jan. 7: 9.7%

One of the metrics has ticked upward since Dec. 2 — the percentage of COVID-19 cases that are positive. This fell to 8.3% (7-day average) on Dec. 26, but has increased to 9.7%, as of Jan. 7. So some of the criteria used to determine whether to open depend on the starting and ending dates selected for the particular timeline being examined.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.