COVID-19 in Northern Michigan: A Look at the Numbers
In less than 24 hours, most of northern Michigan and all of the Upper Peninsula will be scaling back what businesses can be open.
We want to break down the reasoning and the data on why the governor is ordering bars to close indoor service and why gathering sizes are being significantly reduced.
Let’s first breakdown why the governor said the restrictions are being put in place.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer says the resurgence of the coronavirus is closely associated with large social events like the one at Harper’s Bar in Lansing, a house party in Saline, and the Torch Lake 4th of July sandbar party that led to at least 43 cases.
The governor says these three events made her limit indoor gatherings to 10 people or less.
Outdoor gatherings for northern Michigan and the U.P. are at 250 people, 100 people or less for the rest of the state.
It’s worth noting only one of those events are in northern Michigan, with the sandbar party attracting people from all over the state.
Let’s now breakdown how each region is averaging in cases per million people.
In the Traverse City region, they are averaging the lowest in the state with 6.5 daily cases.
The Upper Peninsula is averaging about 16.5 new cases a day.
Jackson has 24 cases a day, while the rest of the state is averaging more than 30 cases a day.
Now let’s breakdown how hospitals in our area are faring when it comes to the coronavirus crisis.
Munson Medical Center says they have three COVID-19 patients, and two are in the ICU.
MidMichigan Health says they have 7 patients in their hospitals, with one person in the ICU.
Spectrum, which covers parts of our area but mostly downstate, has 38 COVID-19 patients.
McLaren also covers part of northern Michigan, but is mainly downstate. They say they have 81 COVID-19 patients in their hospitals.
Hospitals in northern Michigan like Kalkaska Memorial Health Center, Mackinac Straits Hospital and War Memorial all have zero COVID-19 patients right now.
Altogether, the state has 670 people with COVID-19 in hospitals right now with 195 in the ICU, a much smaller number than in months past.
The new restrictions on the Traverse City and Upper Peninsula regions come as a surprise to many, and adds another layer to an already confusing situation on what can and can’t be done in the area.
This executive order from Governor Whitmer doesn’t exactly match Traverse City or any other regions back in MI Safe Start Plan.
In fact, the two regions were trending up with the lowest new cases per day per million numbers of any region across the state and the lowest positive of any other region.
But over the last few months, Governor Whitmer has shown indirect desire to stomp out any sort of outbreak anywhere in the state.
So what does this mean we can do in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula?
Executive order goes into effect Friday and ends all indoor service at bars and restaurants that earn more than 70% of their gross receipts from alcohol sales. Breweries distilleries and wineries are exempt.
Also indoor gatherings are limited to just 10 people, a restriction we haven’t seen since we were under the Safer At Home executive order months ago.
This is where it gets confusing though because the 10 person indoor limit does not apply to everything. It doesn’t apply to incidental gathering of people at places including the airport, bus station, factory floor, restaurant, shopping mall, public pool, or workplace.