Friday, Nov. 13, Coronavirus Data by Michigan County: All 8 MI Start Regions Now at Highest Risk Level

Michigan’s eight MI Start regions are now the highest level used by the state to assess coronavirus risk.

Earlier this week, the Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo regions as well as the Upper Peninsula were only Tier E regions, while the Detroit, Saginaw, Lansing, Jackson, and Traverse City regions were Tier D.

As of Thursday, the entire state is at Level E, based on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ Risk Assessment Scale, which ranges from “low” to levels AE.

The MDHHS assigns an overall score to the eight regions of the state based on factors such as per capita cases and deaths, test positivity rates, number of tests administered and emergency room visits for COVID-19 symptoms. 19.

All of these numbers have worsened significantly across the state over the past few weeks and days. On Thursday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer held a press conference in which she said Michigan “is facing incredibly dire circumstances” as cases surge across the state, hospitals and public health departments are overwhelmed and deaths are rising, Whitmer said.

Gov Whitmer: Michigan is in ‘worst part’ of coronavirus pandemic yet

Our interactive map below shows the eight regions and the counties each comprises.

(The state’s MI Start districts: Region 1 is Detroit Area; Region 2 is Grand Rapids; Region 3, Kalamazoo; Region 4, Saginaw; Region 5, Lansing; Region 6, Traverse City Region 7, Lansing and Region 8, Upper Peninsula.)

Below, MLive applies state metrics on two specific metrics — per capita case counts and test positivity rates — to individual counties to help readers track coronavirus transmission in their community.

Positivity rate

Of the 67,354 diagnostic tests processed in the state on Wednesday, 12.3% came back positive for COVID-19. The rate of positive tests has been above 10% for 10 consecutive days, suggesting significant community spread of the virus.

The World Health Organization sets the threshold for the safe reopening of schools and economies at 5%.

Michigan’s seven-day average is 12%. The state now has 56 counties with a seven-day average positivity rate above 10%, and only one county with a rate below 3%.

Below are the state’s six risk levels for coronavirus test positivity rates and the breakdown of Michigan’s 83 counties based on a seven-day average.

  • Level E (more than 20%): Dickinson, Baraga and Delta.
  • Tier D (15-20%): 14 counties, highest to lowest — Muskegon, Ontonagon, Berrien, Hillsdale, Macomb, Bay, Van Buren, Branch, Oceana, Saginaw, Barry, Otsego, St. Joseph, and Calhoun .
  • Tier C (10-15%): 39 counties, highest to lowest — Lake, Monroe, Cass, Allegan, Ottawa, Lapeer, Newaygo, Genesee, Kent, St. Clair, Kalamazoo, Missaukee, Iosco, Oakland, Menominee, Osceola, Livingston, Tuscola, Emmet, Midland, Ionia, Crawford, Arenac, Gogebic, Kalkaska, Montmorency, Shiawassee, Marquette, Luce, Benzie, Wexford, Isabella, Wayne, Eaton, Clinton, Jackson, Antrim, Iron and Grand Traverse .
  • Level B (7-10%): 14 counties, highest to lowest — Lenawee, Mecosta, Clare, Roscommon, Leelanau, Montcalm, Ingham, Cheboygan, Charlevoix, Gladwin, Ogemaw, Huron, Alcona and Oscoda.
  • Level A (3-7%): 12 counties — Mason, Gratiot, Keweenaw, Sanilac, Houghton, Washtenaw, Chippewa, Alpena, Près Isle, Mackinac, Algiers and Manistee.
  • Low (less than 3%): school.

The map below shows the seven-day average testing rate by county. If you don’t see the map, click here.

New cases per capita

New daily cases per capita is another metric used by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to access coronavirus risk.

In this metric — which calculates the average number of new cases per 1 million residents — all 83 counties are at Level E, the highest risk level on the MDHHS scale. The threshold for level E is 150 cases per day per million population.

Here’s an online database that lets readers search for a county to see the number of new coronavirus cases in the past seven days compared to the previous week, as well as the per capita number that adjusts for population .

Counties are ordered by rate per capita, but you can click on any category’s label to sort by category. Click once to rank by the lowest number and twice to rank by the highest number. Or you can search for a county by name.

Don’t see the graph? Click here.

Current scores are based on new cases reported from November 6-12. The map below is shaded according to the six levels of the state. The arrows indicate whether the total number of new cases reported over the past seven days has increased or decreased compared to the previous seven days (October 30-November 5).

Readers can hover their cursor over a county to see the underlying data. If you don’t see the map, click here. (Tip: you can drag the map with your cursor to see the whole UP)

Below are online databases that allow readers to search county-level data for each of the past 20 days.

Cases per day it was reported to the state

The first is a graph showing new cases reported to the state each day for the past 20 days. This is based on when a confirmed coronavirus test is reported to the state, which means the patient first fell ill a few days prior.

You can call up a graph for any county and you can hover your cursor over a bar to see the date and number of cases. (As of Sept. 1, the state stopped reporting numbers on Sundays.)

(In a few cases, a county reported a negative (decreasing) number of new daily cases, following retroactive reclassification by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. In these cases, we subtracted cases of the previous date and put 0 in the reported date.)

The following table below shows new cases in the past 20 days based on symptom onset. In this chart, numbers for the most recent days are incomplete due to the lag between people getting sick and getting a confirmed coronavirus test result, which can take up to a week or more.

You can call up a graph for any county and you can hover your cursor over a bar to see the date and number of cases.

More localized maps

Below are two maps created by the EpiBayes research group at the University of Michigan Department of Epidemiology, which has access to subcounty data collected by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The interactive maps break the state down into 10 kilometer hexagons to provide a more localized view of where coronavirus cases are occurring. You can click here to access the research project website.

The first map looks at confirmed and probable coronavirus cases over the past week. You can click on a hexagon to see the underlying data.

You can use the triangle button at the top right of the map to switch to the second map, which shows the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Last daily report

On Thursday, November 12, the state reported 6,940 new coronavirus cases and 45 new deaths.

The map below shows the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths since the start of the pandemic. You can hover your cursor over a county to see the numbers behind it.

For more statewide data, visit MLive’s coronavirus data page, here. To find a testing site near you, visit the state’s online test finder, here, email [email protected], or call 888-535-6136 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. h on weekdays.

For more data on COVID-19 in Michigan, visit

Learn more about MLive:

Coronavirus overwhelming Michigan hospitals, leaders warn; “the system can capsize”

Rise in coronavirus cases prompt Kent County Probate Court to halt in-person hearings

How COVID-19 has changed the future of education

Comments are closed.