FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 10, 2020
Media Contact: Press@michigan.gov
New Analysis Shows Governor Whitmer’s Aggressive Action Against COVID-19 Saved Lives, Significantly Lowered Cases, Deaths
Very few states dropped their infection rate as low for as long as Michigan
LANSING, Mich. -- A new report released by the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team shows that the aggressive actions Governor Whitmer took to protect Michigan families from the spread of COVID-19 have significantly lowered the number of cases and deaths that would have occurred had the state done nothing. The data shows that very few states dropped their infection rate as low for as long as Michigan.
“Throughout this crisis, the vast majority of Michiganders have done the right thing by staying safer at home. Those who have done their part, especially the brave men and women on the front lines of this crisis, have helped us flatten the curve and save lives,” said Governor Whitmer. “Our action is working, but we must stay vigilant and flexible in order to lower the chance of a second wave. We owe it to the heroes on the front lines to keep doing our part by wearing a mask when in public and practicing social distancing. We will get through this together.”
“The data shows that our aggressive actions against this virus are working, and that implementing them has saved lives,” said MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “We will continue to closely monitor the data and work with experts to ensure we lower the chance of a second wave and further protect Michigan families.”
“The Imperial College analysis underscores the importance of social distancing measures in reducing transmission and flattening the curve in Michigan, and illustrates why continued careful monitoring and mitigation is critical to avoiding a resurgence in transmission,” said Dr. Marisa Eisenberg, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Complex Systems, and Mathematics at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.
As the governor announced the Stay Home, Stay Safe order and other measures to combat the spread of COVID-19, the rate of infection fell. The data shows that before public health measures were put in place, the average Michigander spread the virus to three other people. As measures were implemented and adherence grew, Michigan’s infection rate decreased to 2.5 people, then 1.25, then 0.8. Throughout April, a person with COVID-19 infected an average of less than one other person, allowing the curve to fall.
Michigan has significantly ramped up testing for COVID-19, with more than 250 testing sites across the state. In May, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun announced expanded testing criteria to include any Michigander who exhibits any symptom of COVID-19, has been exposed to a person diagnosed with COVID-19 or has symptoms, has been working outside their home for at least 10 days, or resides or works in any congregate setting, such as a long-term care facility, prison or jail, homeless shelter, or migrant housing facility. The percent of positive diagnostic COVID-19 testing in Michigan has significantly decreased while testing continues to ramp up.
To find a test site near them, Michiganders can visit Michigan.gov/CoronavirusTest
Early on, the governor took a number of aggressive actions to flatten the curve and protect Michigan families from the spread of COVID-19. After the first positive case was discovered, the governor closed school buildings to Michigan students, limited public gatherings, and issued a Stay Home, Stay Safe order to slow the spread of the virus.
Over the past several weeks, Governor Whitmer has worked with experts in health care, business, and labor to safely reopen sectors of Michigan’s economy in a way that protects workers and their families. The governor recently announced that MERC regions 6 and 8 have moved to phase 5 of the MI Safe Start Plan, and that businesses like restaurants, retail, and office work that cannot be done remotely may reopen across the state. On Monday, June 15, personal care services including hair, massages, and nails will reopen statewide. The governor announced that she hopes to more the rest of the state to phase 5 by July 4.