A new report released by the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team shows that the aggressive actions Governor Gretchen 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.

   “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. 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 nearby test site, Michiganders can visit Michigan.gov/CoronavirusTest.

   Early on, the governor took a number of aggressive actions to “flatten the curve.” 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, Gov. Whitmer has worked with experts in health care, business and labor to safely reopen sectors of Michigan’s economy. The governor has also announced that she hopes to move the rest of the state to Phase 5 by Saturday, July 4.

Analysis Shows Governor’s COVID-19 Response Saved Lives, Significantly Lowered Cases, Deaths was last modified: June 22nd, 2020 by Karen Elford