Michigan beats Ohio – in COVID numbers

Both states saw similar rises in infections throughout the fall until Michigan ordered new COVID restrictions.

Every state in the U.S. has seen COVID-19 infection rates surge throughout the fall. Michigan is no exception, with new COVID-19 case counts rising from less than 500 per day in September to more than 7,000 per day in mid-November.

Ohio has seen a similar trend in new case counts during the past three months. In fact, their trend line has been almost identical to Michigan’s – until November 23. That’s when the states’ new infection numbers diverged.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

Ohio’s daily infection numbers continued to climb after November 23 – eventually reaching more than 10,000 new infections per day last week. At the same time, Michigan’s new infection numbers dropped, reaching nearly half Ohio’s numbers on December 14.

What explains the difference? Michigan’s health department issued new COVID-19 restrictions on November 18. Ohio did not.

Michigan’s rules largely closed down most bars and restaurants in the state as well as limited gatherings and halted most in-person classes.

“I would attribute quite a bit of the downward trend to the [state health department] order,” said University of Michigan epidemiologist Joshua Petrie in an interview with MLive. Pointing to the current numbers in Ohio, he added, “We could be at that same point if we hadn’t taken action.”

You can read the full story here.

Support local. Donate today to Kalamazoo's only locally owned and independent daily news organization.