Rep. Pauline Wendzel today supported a House Republican plan giving the people of Michigan more certainty and control in these challenging times – allowing for data-driven COVID-19 responses that reflect conditions in local communities.
The plan relies on science-based, county-level data to guide decisions to keep people healthy and determine appropriate COVID-19 restrictions.
“Communities and counties know their areas best,” Wendzel said. “They are in-tune with case totals in the area, hospitalizations, hospital capacity, personal protective equipment on-hand and other key factors as the state combats COVID-19. This flexibility is a needed alternative to the one-size-fits-all approach that has caused many across the state additional hardship.”
When the data supports it, local public health experts will have the option to modify their COVID-19 policies at the county-level – potentially loosening state limits on gathering sizes, restaurant capacity and other measures that would remain in place in other counties. Health thresholds allowing local decision-making would be based on five clear scientific metrics:
- Case rate. The number of confirmed cases over a 14-day period is below 55 cases per 1 million people.
- Positivity rate. The rate of positive tests over a 14-day period must be below 5 percent (excluding state and federal inmates).
- Sufficient hospital bed capacity. Hospitals must be able to handle a 20 percent surge in admissions or patient transfers, and they must be below a 25 percent hospitalization increase in the previous 14 days.
- Sufficient PPE supply. Local hospitals must have at least a two-week supply of personal protective equipment on hand.
- Ability to test for COVID-19. Counties must be able to test 15 people per 10,000 residents per day, and turn around test results in three days or less.
If the data later indicates a county has risen above these COVID metrics, intervention strategies would go into effect for stronger state control.
Rep. Wendzel said the plan was put together by looking to best practices in other states in consultation with Michigan medical and science professionals.
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