There is a lot of wrong information out there about coronavirus. We sort out the facts from falsehood.
There is no party. There is no night in the cinema. No eating in the restaurant, long days at the office or waiting at the bar. There are no crowded classrooms, sporting events or church meetings.
For two weeks, Michiganders had largely squatted in hopes that Governor Gretchen Whitmer stayed at home, staying safe so that executives would be enough to slow the spread of the new corona virus.
Although many are experts in maintaining social distance, still the number of COVID-19 cases in Michigan continues to increase. This virus has infected at least 18,970 people in the state so far, and many are dying.
Tuesday marked the largest number of deaths in a single day during the pandemic due to the corona virus which claimed the lives of 118 people in Michigan, bringing the total to 845.
And the worst is not over yet.
“We are not yet close to the summit,” Whitmer said at a press conference Monday.
But there may be signs that social distance is impacting.
“I think we do see a glimmer of hope,” Robert Gordon, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services at the Detroit Regional Chamber, said Tuesday. “… At least the rate of growth has slowed, but there is still growth every day.”
At the beginning of the outbreak in Michigan, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases doubled every two to three days. Now, it takes about one week to double the number of cases.
In Detroit on Tuesday, Mayor Mike Duggan stressed that although cases are growing at a slower rate, hospitals are still being expanded beyond capacity.
“Even if we double again over the next seven days, the capacity is still greater than the hospital can handle and there will probably be a need for TCF Field Hospitals,” he said. expected to open this weekend inside the state’s largest convention center on the waters edge of Detroit. It will be able to accommodate as many as 1,000 coronavirus patients.
The city was hardest hit in the Michigan outbreak, with 5,501 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 221 deaths on Tuesday.
Bob Riney, Henry Ford’s chief operating officer, said on Tuesday that hospitals throughout the region struggled with maintaining adequate supplies of masks, gowns and other personal protective equipment, as well as ensuring there were enough beds to accommodate growing demand, and staff to treat the sick.
More than 700 employees at the Henry Ford Health System tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday night. And at Beaumont Health, 1,500 workers are unemployed because they have COVID-19 or have symptoms of coronavirus, the largest hospital system in the state announced Monday. And Michigan Medicine, a health system based in Ann Arbor affiliated with the University of Michigan, Tuesday reported that at least 110 of its workers tested positive for the virus. At least five health workers in Michigan have died.
“I wake up early every morning and I see what happened last night in terms of overall volume,” Riney said. “And I will tell you that we continue to see an increase in the number of COVID patients who require hospitalization.
“We see what I expect is smaller nails, as opposed to larger nails over the past few days, but it’s too soon, of course, to find out if there is some kind of leveling curve that we are starting to see. In fact, our predictive modeling would suggest that we are some distance from that. “
Gordon, MDHHS director, said “not only at Henry Ford but in many hospitals, receipts continue to exceed the amount issued and it is a very dangerous place to be in what we are trying to overcome.”
Determining where Michigan is on the COVID-19 track is difficult.
The state Department of Health and Human Services relies on several models to make predictions about where Michigan is in the outbreak, and how quickly the state can see COVID-19 infection rates begin to decline.
Among them are a model was built by Marisa Eisenberg, a professor in the University of Michigan’s epidemiology and complex systems department, along with faculty and students in public health and medical school, who try to predict the epidemiological curve of COVID-19 in the state.
“The model seems to be slowing down,” he said, “… which shows that … we hope to approach the summit,” Eisenberg said.
However, he said, factors such as social distance, changes in the number of tests carried out and other variables made it difficult to make accurate models.
“Predicting the peak is really difficult,” he said. “When capacity testing changes, it changes. And then also social distance changes. So, you have two equally changing factors that can affect peak time.”
Because the modeling is very nuanced, it shows that Michigan can see the peak number of COVID-19 cases at any point from April 10 to early May.
“There is only a very broad range.”
And social distance might create curves that are flatter, wider, than sharp peaks, Eisenberg said.
Another model, which the state refers to is COVID Acting Now, a website created by Max Henderson that features collaborations between volunteers, data scientists, computer scientists, epidemiologists and public health experts.
Henderson, a former Google executive, said the project had just received non-profit status and “only tried to do this as a public service effectively.”
His model projects COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and death throughout the United States and how public health interventions can help curb the spread of the virus.
“At the moment, there isn’t much good data about … how things are, but our hope is that this action is slowing the spread substantially,” Henderson said of mitigation efforts such as social distance and staying at home. . “The question now is … if we are going to level the curve, what’s the right balance between … economic pain and prevention of excess hospitals?
“Nobody has a good answer to that question. Anyone who tells you that they can predict peaks only makes numbers … the reality is the situation is dominated by the unknown.”
Last week, the White House referred a model by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, an independent population health research center at the University of Washington Medicine. It is estimated that in just two days, on Thursday, Michigan will reach its projected peak in daily deaths at 190 – an estimated range though between 38 deaths and 591.
The IHME model does not estimate COVID-19 cases.
“We estimate the number of deaths and use it to determine resource requirements for each state,” said an IHME spokesman. “We are working on ways to do that, but it is far more complicated because of the difficulty in getting accurate data for cases.”
The order to stay at Whitmer’s house will end April 13, but Gordon said it must remain in place “until we are convinced that we can reduce social distance and not reintroduce surges in disease rates.
“We want to be in a different place in terms of (hospital) admissions trajectory and hospital capacity as well as the number of infections and the number of deaths every day.
“I don’t think it will be forever. I didn’t mean to … deliver a message without hope, but I also think it won’t happen when that moment comes.”
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