Here’s what to know Dec. 14, 2020

DETROIT – The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 437,985 as of Monday, including 10,752 deaths, state officials report.

Monday’s update includes 7,205 new cases and 90 additional deaths over the past two days. On Saturday, the state reported a total of 430,780 confirmed cases and 10,662 deaths.

New COVID-19 cases are slowing but deaths continue to rise in Michigan. Testing has remained steady, with more than 45,000 diagnostic tests reported per day, with the positive rate decreasing to near 11% over the last wee. Hospitalizations have increased steadily for the last five weeks, including upticks in critical care and ventilator use.

Michigan’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 5,106 on Sunday, lower than one week ago. The 7-day death average was 125, the highest since April. The state’s fatality rate is 2.5%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 183,700 on Sunday. More than 236,000 have recovered in Michigan.

According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 6.2 million have recovered in the U.S., with more than 16.2 million cases reported across the country. Nearly 300,000 have died in the U.S.

Worldwide, more than 72.4 million people have been confirmed infected and more than 1.6 million have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. The true numbers are certainly much higher, because of limited testing, different ways nations count the dead and deliberate under-reporting by some governments.

Coronavirus headlines:

VIEW: Tracking Michigan COVID-19 testing data

VIEW: Tracking coronavirus cases, outbreaks in Michigan schools

Michigan health officials plan for COVID-19 vaccine

With the announcement of the Food and Drug Administration vaccine advisory panel recommending the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine needs granted an emergency use authorization, Michigan is developing a distribution plan once the vaccine is authorized.

Initially, five Michigan hospitals would be the first to get the vaccine, according to the Michigan Health and Hospital Association.

The hospitals are Beaumont Hospital in Troy, Ascension Macomb-Oakland in Warren, University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, Spectrum Health Butterworth in Grand Rapids and MidMichigan Medical Center in Midland.

Read more here.

3 takeaways from Michigan Gov. Whitmer’s COVID briefing

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer held a COVID-19 news briefing on Thursday afternoon.

Whitmer was joined by Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun.

Here were some of the main takeaways from the briefing.

Michigan extends COVID-19 restrictions for 12 days to gauge Thanksgiving impact

Michigan health officials announced an extension of COVID-19 restrictions in the state as deaths continue to rise and the state’s test positivity rate remains high.

Gov. Whitmer said MDHHS will extend the three-week pause for 12 days. MDHHS said the additional 12 days will allow the department to determine the full impact of the Thanksgiving holiday on the spread of COVID-19 across Michigan.

More details from MDHHS:

  • Under today’s order, MDHHS continues to urge families to avoid indoor gatherings, and only two households may gather inside, with strict protocols recommended.
  • Individuals should wear masks consistently whenever they are inside with individuals not in their household, and are recommended to pick only a small group to see regularly.
  • Bars and restaurants must remain closed for dine-in service, but can remain open for outdoor dining, carry-out and delivery. Gyms are open for individual exercise with mandatory masking and additional strict safety measures. Casinos, movie theaters and group exercise classes remain closed.
  • Professional and college sports meeting extraordinary standards for risk mitigation may continue without spectators.
  • Colleges, universities and high schools will continue with remote learning, with no in-person classes.

COVID-19 now leading cause of death in US topping heart disease, researchers say

COVID-19 is now the leading cause of death in the United States topping heart disease, according to The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine.

IHME says COVID-19 was the cause of nearly 12,000 deaths last week, putting it ahead of ischemic heart disease and lung cancer. Health officials warn the pandemic will likely get worse. However, there is some hope on the horizon.

Read more here.

Whitmer urges residents not to travel for holidays but ‘great hope is on the horizon’

Michigan is currently in the latter third of a three-week “pause” that shut down indoor dining at restaurants, in-person classes for colleges and high schools, and much more.

As COVID-19 cases remain high, people are wondering if Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will extend the “pause.”

Whitmer said she’s working with Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and other health experts to examine…

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