KALAMAZOO, Mich. — As parts of Michigan’s economy start to reopen, a COVID-19 forecast model often cited by the White House, increased the state’s projected death toll by more than 80% and health experts say widespread testing is key to safely reopening economies.
The projection, from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluations, estimates more than 7,000 people in the state would die from COVID-19. Still, Michigan is displaying some positive signs in the state’s battle against the virus.
Over the past two weeks the average number of tests per day have more than doubled from 4,575 to 9,193.
While the number has steadily gone up, it had not reached the 15,000 tests per day both Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan's chief medical officer, and a team of Harvard researchers say the state needs.
Of COVID-19 tests in Michigan, the percentage coming back positive has also dropped significantly.
Over the past week 10.87% of COVID-19 tests in Michigan came back positive. In early April about 40% of tests in the state were positive.
This is a sign of expanded testing, which experts say is needed to understand the virus’ spread in the state.