Michigan moves to three-phase system for COVID guidance

LANSING, Michigan (WILX) – Michigan reported 4,271 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the state on Wednesday and 312 deaths.

During this period, the state averaged 2,136 cases per day, which is significantly lower than the more than 15,000 daily cases seen in January.

As COVID cases go down, the masks are coming off. On Wednesday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services updated its mask guidelines for public places. The department said it would approach COVID in three phases going forward:

  • Responnse — Local and state public health are implementing a rapid response to an outbreak. The public may be advised to increase masking, testing and social distancing.
  • Recovery — Post-surge. No immediate resurgence expected. Local and national public health will monitor conditions that could lead to future outbreaks.
  • Preperation — An increase in the number of cases is expected, with implications for disease severity and hospital capacity. Increased communication to the public about possible new risks.

February 16, 2022: Michigan reports 4,271 new COVID cases, 312 deaths in past days

The department announced that the phase Michigan is currently in is the recovery phase. Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said she was happy with the new system.

“Not only would it go up very quickly, it would also go down very quickly,” Vail said.

She said the recent omicron surge pushed up the number of COVID cases in January, but weeks later the numbers are the lowest since October.

Vail said that with all the knowledge and medical treatment available, she hopes the worst is over.

“Hopefully future surges will be a bit more predictable in terms of seasonal pattern and peaks that shouldn’t exceed what we’ve seen in the past two years,” Vail said.

While Michigan is in the recovery phase, Vail said people should still be health conscious by staying active and doing things to stay in shape.

“Who were the most vulnerable people, apart from the elderly? They were people with certain underlying conditions,” Vail said. “As long as we keep ourselves healthy, keep those underlying conditions under control in whatever way we can – then that prepares your body to be healthier for everything, really.”

Vail said she can see COVID heading into an endemic phase, which means — like other viruses — it will be more seasonal or continue to exist without the high numbers seen in the past.

More information on Michigan’s COVID guidelines can be found on the state’s official website here.

Read: COVID-19 positive Michiganders should consider these drugs

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