93% of Michigan counties can ditch face masks, CDC says – The Oakland Press

Michigan public health officials on Friday reported 1,815 new cases of COVID-19 and 45 additional virus deaths over the past two days.

The latest two-day case total brought the state’s total number of confirmed cases and deaths to 2,065,912 and 32,419 deaths since the start of the pandemic. According to the MDHHS, these new case and death totals represent data collected Thursday and Friday.

The 45 deaths from COVID-19 announced today include 38 deaths identified during a vital registration examination, which means that 7 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in the past two days.

The CDC reports that Michigan’s 7-day average case rate is 63 cases per day per 100,000 population, while the state’s 7-day average test positivity rate fluctuates between 3 and 5 percent with more than 159,000 COVID-19 diagnostic tests performed in the past. week.

All parts of the state are seeing a drop in the number of new cases, new hospitalizations, as well as test positivity rates.

On Monday, the state reported 29 new outbreaks of COVID-19 from long-term care facilities (22) and schools (7). COVID-19 outbreaks are generally defined as two or more cases with a link by location and time indicating shared exposure outside of a household.

COVID-19 Community Levels

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has relaxed its guidelines on face masks, saying the majority of Americans now live in counties where COVID-19 poses a low or medium threat to health systems. These are the people who can stop wearing face masks, the CDC said.

The CDC’s new set of masking measures, called COVID-19 Community Levels, is aimed at communities where COVID-19 is loosening its grip, focusing less on new cases and more on what’s happening in hospitals in terms of new COVID-19 admissions and the percentage of staffed beds used by COVID-19 patients.

To determine whether a certain community needs to strengthen its protective measures against the pandemic, the CDC now looks at three key metrics, including: new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 population in the past 7 days, percentage of staffed hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients and total number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the last 7 days.

These metrics are used to classify a county’s COVID-19 community level as low, medium, or high and are an indication of the current strain on local health systems. Levels will be updated at least once a week.

In Michigan, as of March 10, the most recent update available, 77 of 83 counties have low or medium COVID-19 community levels using the CDC’s new criteria. 6 counties are ranked high, 10 are ranked medium, and 67 counties are ranked low.

“Everyone is certainly welcome to wear a mask at all times if they feel safer wearing a mask,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. “We want to make sure our hospitals are running well and people are not coming in with serious illness. …Anyone can go to the CDC website, find out the volume of disease in their community, and make that decision.

CDC officials say the COVID-19 community levels do not apply in healthcare settings, such as hospitals and nursing homes. Instead, health facilities should continue to use community transmission levels, which depend on the rate of new cases.

Hospitalizations

Statewide, there are 691 Michiganders hospitalized with a confirmed positive COVID-19, a 9.1% decrease from Wednesday’s total of 761 patients and an 84.9% decrease from the peak of 15 January of 4,578 patients. About 76% of hospital beds in the state are occupied.

Michigan’s 7-day average of total COVID-19 hospitalizations is 828, down from 1,125 the previous week.

Over the past seven days, the average number of Michiganders admitted to hospital with confirmed COVID-19 on a daily basis is 99, down from 118 the previous week and up from a peak of 651 the week of April 14, 2021, according to the CDC.

According to MDHHS officials, the number of Michiganders, adults and children, hospitalized with COVID-19 is down in all regions of the state.

As of March 7, a total of 40 Michigan hospitals were reporting critical staffing shortages. That’s down from a high of 62 on Jan. 23, but stable for a week. Compared to the same period last year, MDHHS reports that there are 1,383 (6%) fewer hospital beds and 125 (5%) fewer ICU beds.

Michigan’s New Isolation and Quarantine Guidelines

MDHHS announced Friday that it has updated its isolation and quarantine guidelines for the general public, including school settings, as the state enters the post-surge recovery phase of the pandemic.

Now, people exposed to COVID-19, regardless of their vaccination status, no longer need to self-quarantine, according to the guidelines.

More details on guidance for Michigan residents and schools can be found here:

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/coronavirus/MDHHS_IQ_Guidance_-_Recovery_Phase_3.7.22_749780_7.pdf and https://www.michigan.gov/documents/coronavirus/MI_Safer_Schools_Guidance_for_Managing_Students_Exposed_to_COVID-19_734750_7.pdf.

Free mask

As new cases and hospitalizations continue their downward trend statewide, MDHHS officials say it is no longer recommended to wear face masks in most indoor public places, including schools. .

However, MDHHS officials continue to recommend face masks for Michiganders, regardless of their vaccination status, in high-risk congregational settings, including long-term care facilities, shelters, correctional facilities, prisons and health facilities, and for people during periods of isolation and quarantine. to stop the spread of the virus.

Michigan county health departments last month rescinded their school face mask mandates that had been in place since last fall due to rapidly declining newly reported cases and hospitalizations as well as increased vaccinations. in young children.

You can see the MDHHS march. 8 response data and modeling update here:

Click to access 20220308_Data_and_modeling_update_vMEDIA_749682_7.pdf

Vaccines

More than 66% of Michiganders have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine, which totals more than 6.6 million.

Immunization coverage rates include 27% for 5-11 year olds, 48% for 12-15 year olds, 54% for 16-19 year olds, 53% for 20-29 year olds and 64% for 30- 39 years old.

Among older age groups, vaccination rates are 66% for 40-49 year olds, 76% for 50-64 year olds, 89% for residents aged 65-74 and 86% for Michiganders aged 75 years and older.

More than 3 million boosters and third doses have been administered statewide. About 53% of the state’s fully immunized population received a booster dose.

Free face masks and test kits

Michigan residents can get free KN95 face masks and COVID-19 test kits by visiting Michigan.gov/MaskUpMichigan and https://www.usps.com/covidtests.

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