In only one Michigan county should people wear masks, CDC says

Only Iron County on the Upper Peninsula is at a high community level of COVID-19 this week, which means people there should mask up indoors and in public, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States. A week earlier, there were 11 counties in Northern Michigan and UP at such a level.

Delta, Almost Isle, Montmorency, and Alpena counties have since moved from high-level orange to low-level green. Manistee, Benzie, Leelanau, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Antrim counties went from orange to mid-level yellow.

Fifteen counties are yellow. All except Monroe County in the Southeast are in northern Michigan or UP, reports the CDC, which is reviewing recent hospitalizations and new case information to update its card every Thursday evening. Sixty-seven counties, almost all of the Lower Peninsula, are green.

That means people in those areas must wear masks indoors and in public, says the CDC, which updates its map weekly by Thursday evening.

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Only at high level orange does the CDC recommend universal masking indoors and in public.

However, people with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask regardless of where they live, the CDC says, and people at high risk for severe illness could need to take extra precautions in case of strong COVID-19 commons.

To see how the CDC rated your county, check out the interactive map below. Tap or hover over a county to see the underlying data.

Don’t see the map above? Click here.

The CDC relaxed its mask guidelines in February, when the worst of the Omicron wave was behind the country, moving from reviewing only cases and positive tests to reviewing cases and hospitalizations. The idea is to prevent serious illnesses and limit the pressure on hospitals.

A county is at a high level when there are more than 200 new cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days and 10 or more new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 people or 10% of hospitalized patients, staffed beds in staff are occupied by COVID patients on average last week; or fewer than 200 new cases per 100,000 people and 10 or more new COVID-19 admissions per capita in the last seven days or 15% or more of inpatient hospital beds are occupied by COVID patients on average daily in the course of the last week. (Not all counties have hospitals, so each is assigned a health service area, a geographic region that contains at least one hospital. Counties receive the calculated metrics for the entire area, weighted by based on the population of each county. The community level is determined by the higher of the two hospital metrics.)

COVID-19 measures have been declining in Michigan for five weeks.

New COVID cases fell another 14.3% this week, with the state reporting 1,588 confirmed cases per day on Tuesday when the state health department gave its weekly update.

Hospitalizations are still down, as they have been for weeks. The number of pediatric patients, however, is on the rise this week. Patients in intensive care and on ventilators this week were little changed from last week.

As of Tuesday, hospitals across the state were treating 750 adult patients and 27 pediatric patients with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19. This includes 93 adult patients in intensive care and 37 on ventilators.

As of June 15, hospitals across the state were treating 836 adult patients and 19 pediatric patients with confirmed or suspected cases. This included 39 patients on ventilators and 98 adults in intensive care.

Michigan is doing better than other states. Florida, New Mexico and California had the highest new cases per capita in the past seven days in the continental United States, according to New York Times data. Michigan was just outside the top 30.

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