Michigan Health Watch
In-depth reporting on the intersection between public policy and important health topics ‒ such as insurance coverage, hospital admissions, opioid abuse, access to care, medical research and the business of health care ‒ that impact nearly every Michigan resident.
This continuously updated post includes details of Michigan's confirmed COVID-19 cases, maps of locations, state curve data, what the state is doing to contain the spread, and expert suggestions on how you can stay safe.
The former Obama official had taken a larger role in fighting the coronavirus after Michigan courts struck down Gov. Whitmer’s power to issue executive orders. He will be succeeded by Elizabeth Hertel.
A new, faster-moving variant worries health officials and means more people need to become immune to stop it. But the state’s history on vaccines plus a shortage of doses doesn’t bode well for meeting that goal anytime soon.
The decision, which will be finalized in the next few days, comes as coronavirus cases decline throughout Michigan. State officials say the ban on indoor dining helped drive down rates. Others aren’t so sure.
Michigan has shown progress in getting nursing home residents and staff vaccinated. But overall, nearly 8 percent of people over 70 have received a COVID vaccine in Michigan.
Michigan officials blame a reporting lag for vaccine undercounts as federal officials warn that states with poor performance will get fewer doses when reserves are released.
Identifying new variants of COVID is a high-tech, genetic search for a “needle in a haystack,” with just two labs doing the work in a state with thousands of new coronavirus samples each day. But while Michigan studies only a small sliver of testing specimens, it’s doing better than other states.
A week after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced people 65 and older would be eligible for a vaccine, health department websites and other government offices are being flooded by residents trying to get registered.
Restrictions due to expire on Friday may have helped Michigan avoid a surge in coronavirus that swept the nation, but its unemployment rate is higher than most states.
Despite recent reforms that shield patients from unexpected bills they thought were covered by insurance, ground ambulance services can still charge high fees if they are outside a patient’s insurance network. A lawmaker promises to look into the matter.
Henry Ford Health System and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan touted the study in April as a possible game-changer in protecting first responders from the deadly virus. But low participation and criticism of the health system’s research doomed the effort, which was ended before Christmas.
Chronicling a pandemic is a reminder of our shared resilience and what we can achieve in laboratories, at bedsides, in classrooms and at kitchen tables. While 2020 was awful, let’s remember what we’ve gained amid the loss.
Unclear data and messaging, a lurching supply chain and a growing chorus of finger-pointing dogs the state’s early vaccine plan as people over 65 seek protection against COVID-19.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and state health officials note a rise in cases and positivity rates, and worry about a new variant of the coronavirus as well as a possible post-holiday spike.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer defended the state’s uneven vaccine distribution program. The expanded list of people who can get vaccines starting next week includes police, teachers and others more at risk.
Some frontline health care workers and first responders are reluctant to take the vaccine, contributing to Michigan having one of the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the nation.
In a year like none other, 2020 was in many ways defined by a relentless pandemic that touched every element of life and killed thousands of Michiganders.
Coronavirus killed nearly as many as strokes, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes combined in Michigan this year. Heart disease and cancer are the top two causes of death.
Coronavirus cases fell after Michigan imposed restrictions on businesses. But was that the cause of decline? And was it worth the cost to the economy? It could take years to know for sure, and anecdotal evidence nationwide isn’t as strong as supporters suggest.
The coronavirus struck hard in November, closing schools, cutting off incomes and putting an end to the notion that this mid-Michigan town could somehow elude a pandemic.