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WATCH: COVID-19 cases plateauing, state vaccination rate among highest in US

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Posted at 10:28 AM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-06 13:59:25-05

LANSING, Mich. — MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Joneigh Khaldun says COVID-19 cases have been plateauing after the decreases the state saw before the holidays.

"I'm concerned that we may be seeing a slowing of progress that we were making," Khaldun said.

Three weeks into its vaccination campaign, Michigan is among the top five in the nation in terms of the percentage of its population that has already received the coronavirus vaccine.

State officials have set a goal to have 70% of Michiganders over the age of 16 vaccinated as quickly as possible.

They've also set an expectation that 90% of doses received by any facility in the state needs to be in arms within seven days.

More than 152,000 vaccines have been administered as of Wednesday.

The news comes as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that the state will move to the next phase of the vaccination campaign, in which Michiganders over 65 and some frontline essential workers will be eligible for receive the vaccine.

Starting Monday, January 11, people in Phase 1B Group A and Phase 1C Group A will be eligible to receive the vaccine. That includes those 65 and older, frontline essential workers including police officers, first responders, frontline state and federal workers and jail and prison staff; and preK-12 teachers and childcare providers.

Whitmer says the speed at which the state has been getting allocations of vaccines from the federal government as been "concerning."

"We are on the precipice of seeing this ramp up faster," Whitmer said.

The state has been in contact with President-elect Joe Biden's administration regarding these concerns.

SEE MORE: State expanding vaccine eligibility in bid to accelerate process

Whitmer has not yet made a decision about whether or not statewide restrictions will be relaxed when they expire on Jan. 15.

She says officials need to look at more data over the next week before making that decision.

"If we could do what I wanted, we would be moving forward," Whitmer said.

Coronavirus cases have generally been trending down, but officials have also said they want to see how holiday travel impacts those numbers.

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