COVID was probably worse in spring
As of Thursday, the state of Michigan was experiencing an average of 1,682 new cases of COVID-19 each day. That’s 56 higher than at the peak of the state’s pandemic average in mid-April.
Health experts say that as bad as it may seem right now, the rates of new coronavirus infections were probably much higher in the spring. The difference comes down to testing rates. We simply didn’t have the capacity to know how many people the virus was infecting at that point in time.
According to a study by the University of California, Berkeley, Michigan probably had 12 undetected cases of COVID-19 for every one person who tested positive in mid-April. At that time, Michigan was managing to test less than 5,600 people per day. For comparison, there were 43,249 COVID-19 tests conducted this past Wednesday.
That isn’t to say people aren’t still going undetected, but the number is much lower now.
“I’ve seen estimates now that there are three to six missed cases” for every confirmed case, said University of Michigan epidemiologist Ryan Malosh in an interview with MLive.
That would put the number of undetected infections in the 5,000 to 10,000 range each day – still a high number, but far less than the peak of 20,000 undetected cases early on in the pandemic.
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