As Covid numbers climb, Whitmer urges caution, especially at religious gatherings

October 22, 2020, 7:10 AM

As the state experiences another rise in Covid-19 cases, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and health officials warn that many appear to be linked to religious gatherings. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at Wednesday's briefing (Photo: State of Michigan)

The Detroit News reports on Whitmer's press conference yesterday with the state's chief medical executive:

Of the state's 393 ongoing outbreaks — many of which are associated with longterm care facilities — 18 of them or 5% have been linked to religious gatherings, Chief Medical Executive Joneigh Khaldun said Wednesday. The number of outbreaks associated with religious gatherings has "significantly increased since September."

The outbreaks came as Michigan experienced a record week of 10,241 confirmed cases of the virus for the week ending Oct. 17 and set a seven-day average for daily new cases at 1,463. The previous highest seven-day average was 1,395 cases for April 5-11, when there were a total of 9,768 confirmed cases.

... The state defines an outbreak as two or more cases "with a link by place and time indicating a shared exposure outside of a household."

Whitmer didn't answer questions about the possibility of another stay-home order, saying she didn't want to create anxiety. She stressed the need to take the numbers seriously and said turnarounds are possible: "We have done it before," she said.

Confirmed cases in Michigan and related deaths stand at 150,989 and 7,086, respectively. Covid-related hospitalizations are also up 89 percent from a month earlier. 

In the nine-county Detroit region, 1,309 Coivid patients are hospitalized as of Tuesday, including 179 in intensive care.

Read more:  The Detroit News

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