Increased COVID-19 testing in Michigan does not account for dramatic rise in positive cases

Posted at 6:38 PM, Oct 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-27 18:38:24-04

Michigan is seeing a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases and on Saturday, set a record for the highest one-day increase in coronavirus.

Recently, President Donald Trump and others have said that the increase in cases is due to an increase in testing, but that is not true.

While it is true that testing has increased over the past month, when looking at numbers from Michigan, the increased testing isn't solely responsible for increases in COVID-19.

When comparing September and October, the numbers are vastly different.

Between Sept. 1 and Sept. 26, the State of Michigan conducted a total of 813,261 tests. Of those, 780,387 were diagnostic tests and 32,874 were serology tests, also known as antibody tests.

From Oct. 1 to Oct. 25, the state conducted 1,001,132 tests, 974,206 of which were diagnostic and 26,926 of which were serology.

That means testing increased by 23% in that time. In a similar time from comparing the two months, cases rose sharply.

From Sept. 1-23, there were 15,752 cases of COVID-19, and from Oct. 1-23, there were 29,410. That's an increase of 87%.

So, while testing was up only 23%, cases increased 87%.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said the testing does not alone account for the rise in COVID-19 cases.

"We are experiencing dramatic increases in all regions of the state with more cases among younger Michiganders than we saw in the spring," a spokesperson said. "Outbreaks are occurring in workplaces, schools and universities and due to social gatherings. If we do not slow the spread of the virus, we will experience thousands of more deaths. We must remain vigilant in wearing masks, physically distancing by at least six feet from those who do not live in our households, washing our hands often and staying home if we are ill."

As of Monday, there are 161,907 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan and 7,211 deaths from the virus.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.