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Michigan switches to 3-phase system for COVID guidance

Michigan switches to 3-phase system for COVID guidance
Published: Feb. 16, 2022 at 10:10 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 16, 2022 at 10:50 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan reported 4,271 new confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state Wednesday and 312 deaths.

During that timeframe, the state averaged 2,136 cases per day, significantly lower than the more than 15,000 daily cases seen in January.

As COVID cases go down, the masks come off. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services updated its mask guidance for public settings Wednesday. The department said it would be approaching COVID in three phases moving forward:

  • Response -- Local and state public health implement rapid response to a surge. The public may be advised to increase masking, testing and social distancing.
  • Recovery -- Post-surge. No immediate resurgence predicted. Local and state public health will monitor conditions that could lead to future surges.
  • Readiness -- A surge in cases is expected, with implications on severity of illness and hospital capacity. Increased communication to the public regarding possible new risks.

Feb. 16, 2022: Michigan reports 4,271 new COVID cases, 312 deaths over past days

The department announced the phase Michigan is currently in is the Recovery Phase. Ingham County health officer Linda Vail said she’s happy with the new system.

“Not only would it go up very quickly, but it would go down very quickly as well,” Vail said.

She said the recent surge of omicron sent the number of COVID cases sky-high in January, but weeks alter, the numbers are the lowest they’ve been since October.

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

“Hopefully future surges are going to be a little bit more predictable in terms of a seasonal pattern and peaks that should not exceed what we’ve seen in this last two years,” Vail said.

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

“Who were the people who were the most vulnerable -- other than older people? It was people with certain underlying conditions,” Vail said. “To the extent that we keep ourselves healthy, keep those underlying conditions in control in the ways that we can do that -- then that sets your body up to be healthier for anything, really.”

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

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

Read: Michiganders positive for COVID-19 should consider these medications

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