It’s now been a week since the Michigan legislature passed a $465 million package aimed at fighting COVID-19, but Governor Whitmer still hasn’t signed it—even though it exceeded her requests and was passed unanimously by both the House and Senate. Why? Her office says it’s because the bill wasn’t fully negotiated, so they are going through it line by line—apparently with an eye towards the sort of line item vetoes that scotched funding for the ferry, school and health center a little more than a year ago. Senate Majority Leader says that the delay is costing jobs and businesses. “Every day that goes by 20 restaurants close their doors for good and more Michiganders out of work due to her orders suffer. This bill should have been signed the moment she received it.” MLive says it’s unclear what part of the spending the governor opposes. Meantime, no word from either side on the apparent irony of the governor bristling at the absence of negotiations on a spending bill she demanded while at the same time refusing to negotiate about the provisions of her lockdown orders—or the fact that she is now in league with the president in delaying delivery of COVID-19 relief to Michiganders.
New COVID-19 case numbers continue a positive trend state-wide. Yesterday’s report, which covered three days, and had 3,239 new cases or 1,620 a day. There were 60 deaths in the report, or 30 a day. The seven-day running average for new cases is down again to 2,444 and for deaths it is 80—that number still lagging high because of deaths reclassified from prior dates. In the eight-county region we’ve followed from the start, there were 38 new cases over the period or 19 a day, and two new deaths. Charlevoix had one new case. The deaths were in Benzie and Kalkaska with one each. Averages for the region are 38 new cases and two deaths a day.
Statewide there are now 160,002 active cases. Our region has 2,742. Both of those tallies are continuing a steady ramp down.
Last reported average positivity rate statewide is down to 8.4% and it is 7% for our safe start zone—also down. The rate in Charlevoix county is 2.1%. The C-D-C target is 3%. The latest hospital occupancy report shows some pretty dramatic declines in general bed utilization, but that’s probably mostly a function of the holiday because those numbers include admissions for any reason—including elective surgery. The I-C-U population remains steady. 66.5% of in-patient rooms are in use statewide and 58.3% in our region. For I-C-Us, the rate is 77.0% for the state and 76.6% locally. Looking at COVID-19 cases in our local hospitals, the numbers are down. Munson Hospital in Charlevoix has one COVID-19 patients, in a regular room—down from two. At McLaren in Petoskey, they have 10 patients–all of them are in their I-C-U. That’s down from 14—and represents about 2.2% of the current active cases (cases less than 30 days old) in Charlevoix and Emmet counties.
On the island, the Health Center reported another test run yesterday and one result back, which was negative. There is one test pending. No new positives since the 7th. That puts the weekly positivity rate at 0. For the entire period since the outbreak back in November, it’s at 19.1%
Complete data for our region plus summaries for the state, the T-C safe start zone and the U-P are in the table below.
Data from December 26, 2020