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(5/26/2020) - Wondering where Mid-Michigan falls on economic recovery scale and when the region might be able to reduce some restrictions? The state launched a new MI Safe Start Map website that breaks down where each of eight regions in Michigan fall on the six-phase plan to reopen the state's economy. The Michigan Economic Recovery Committee split the state into eight regions based on economic activity and where people travel. The online dashboard breaks down risks and trends with coronavirus in each region. It includes graphs, numbers and trends showing whether the illness is spreading or declining in each area. “The most important thing we can do right now is listen to the experts and follow the medical science,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Our first responders have put their lives on the line during this crisis, and we owe it to them to get this right. This dashboard will provide us with the data we need to assess risk in different regions of the state so we can re-engage our economy safely and deliberately, while working to minimize the risk of a second wave of infections." The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and University of Michigan School of Public Health developed the six risk levels that each region is assigned from uncontrolled growth to post-pandemic. “The risk levels tell us whether there is high, medium or low risk of COVID-19 spread in a community and can help highlight areas where more social distancing may be needed, or where vulnerable individuals should be particularly careful,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan's chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. The dashboard displays risk levels of epidemic spread, health system capacity and public health capacity with other epidemiology information to show an overall risk level for each region. The website also includes localized information, such as whether coronavirus cases are localized to a certain area or facility. "This precision public health dashboard is very unique as it clearly shows everyone why some regions can open up more rapidly than others," said Sharon Kardia, the associate dean at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

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