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Epidemiologists say COVID test rates are a “pretty bad” sign

Michigan National Guard

Michigan has reported more than 18,000 new COID cases in the past seven days and currently has a positivity rate of over 6%.

The new surge in cases is part of why the state recently announced stricter regulations for gatherings and restaurants.

Joshua Petrie is an Epidemiologist at the University of Michigan.


“It’s getting pretty bad. We’re increasing cases daily. Every day it’s a new record,” he said. “Some of that is we’re testing more but one of the concerning things is we’re seeing the percent of the tests that are positive increasing.”

Petrie said hospitalizations and death rates are likely to rise as well.

“Those things typically lag behind the cases by about a month or so,” he said. “Even if things magically dropped off in the next week or so I think we’d still see increasing hospitalization and death.”

Public health experts are urging state residents to stay six feet apart, avoid gathering indoors, and wear a mask.

Chief Medical Executive Joneigh Khaldun called the surge “alarming.”

Petrie said those going to cast a ballot in person on election day should be careful. 

“It’s certainly a concern,” he said. “Obviously, the election is very important so I think it’s gotta go on and there are things you can do to minimize your risk including wearing a mask.”