MI Safe Start Map is a dashboard designed to monitor the status of COVID-19 indicators across the state of Michigan. The dashboard tracks and displays the current risk level of Michigan regions and counties due to COVID-19. The goals are twofold:
- To assist public health officials in making state, regional, and county-level decisions related to COVID-19;
- To provide the general public with insight into some of the indicators that affect these public health decisions.
This dashboard presents risk and capacity indicators that are taken into consideration during the State of Michigan's development and implementation of the MI Safe Start Plan. Each indicator is assigned a level of risk. Those levels are taken into consideration, with other epidemiologic information, in assigning the overall risk level for a region. The State of Michigan's decisions about the MI Safe Start plan also take into consideration availability of mitigation and economic factors, among other factors.
On September 22, this site switched to a new set of names for the risk levels, and a new color scheme. The revised names and color scheme are intended to reduce confusion with the state's Economic Recovery Phases associated with the Mi Safe Start Plan. There is also an additional higher threshold level for cases, and an additional intermediate threshold for percent positivity. The expansion of risk thresholds is intended to align with thresholds from national systems.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly evolving and unpredictable viral outbreak. The data and associated risk indicators represented here are derived from state and public sources that may contain inaccuracies and that are frequently updated and/or revised. Consequently, there are times that the indicators may be or appear to be inaccurate or conflicting. All data presented on this site is subject to change. The information presented on this site is for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal or medical advice, and does not replace or supersede any guidance or directives issues from the State of Michigan in connection with its MI Safe Start plan. Use caution in making any decisions based on limited or transient data presentations such as those appearing in this dashboard.
Michigan Economic Recovery Council (MERC) Regions
The regions on the map were developed by the Michigan Economic Recovery Council (MERC). MERC regions were developed by merging Michigan's Emergency Preparedness Regions and Michigan's labor sheds – the major areas of the state where people live and travel to work based on U.S. Department of Labor data – so that any outbreak resulting from a return to work could be handled effectively under public health laws.
Data last uploaded on January 17, reflecting cases and deaths through January 16 and tests through January 14. Reports on or after January 14 may not yet reflect complete data. For that reason, indicators and trends are not calculated for January 14 or later.
Case data are from the Michigan Disease Surveillance System (MDSS), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services' web based communicable disease reporting system. Cases are attributed to date of illness onset. If illness onset date is unavailable, date of testing is used. If date of testing is unavailable, date of referral to MDSS is used. Date attributions are subject to change over time as better data become available. By default, data displayed do not include the cases among prisoners in Correctional Facilities; select from the dropdown to include them. By default, probable cases as well as laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases are included; select from the dropdown to exclude them.
Death data are also from the Michigan Disease Surveillance System (MDSS). Laboratory-confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths are included. Displayed dates represent dates of death. If date of death is unavailable, date of last status change in MDSS is used. Dates are subject to change over time as better data become available. By default, data displayed do not include the cases among prisoners in Correctional Facilities. Select from the dropdown to include them.
Laboratory testing data are those diagnostic tests reported to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. By default, data displayed do not include the cases among prisoners in Correctional Facilities. Select from the dropdown to include them.
Syndromic data is based on visits to emergency rooms and urgent care facilities. The statistic displayed is the percentage of presenting patients who had COVID-like symptoms, as reported to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Data is only available statewide and for MERC regions, not for individual counties.
Official region risk determinations and explanations are provided periodically by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. They are based on overall evaluation by public health officials, taking into consideration individual indicators from this site along with other epidemiologic information.
The most recent region risk determination prior to the selected date are used to color-code the map regions on the main page and the explanation text that is shown on the top right side of the main page.
From May 16 to August 14, a previous vocabulary of risk levels was used. Those risk determinations are no longer displayed on the map because they aren't comparable to the levels in the current system. For those interested in the historical determinations, they are available in the linked PDF.
The overall calculated risk level for each county is taken as the 7-day average daily cases per million or percent test positivity risk level, whichever is worse. A county risk level may not improve for at least 14 days after a change to a worse risk level.
Official data are sometimes revised to correct errors or the arrival of new information about previously reported cases and deaths. Data in the dashboard about earlier dates always reflect the best currently available data, not what was known as of particular dates in the past.
Percent positive tests is the number of positive tests divided by the total number of tests for a particular day. When testing levels are stable, this metric identifies increases or decreases in the epidemic relative to other causes of respiratory infection. This metric is commonly used in community monitoring studies of influenza and other respiratory viruses. Evaluations of percent positivity (number of positive tests / total number of tests) also enable a look at adequacy of testing in a population.
This is the total number of tests performed over the previous 7 days. Testing is important to identifying COVID-19 cases, and may drive up new case volume. Use this metric to see if there has been an increase or decrease in testing over a week that could affect case counts.
The number of new cases is a count of the cases with onset on that particular day. Cases are attributed to date of illness onset. If illness onset date is unavailable, date of testing is used. If date of testing is unavailable, date of referral to MDSS is used. Date attributions are subject to change over time as better data become available.
The number of daily cases per million is the number of new cases with onset on that day divided by the number of people in that county or MERC region and then multiplied by one million. It is adjusted to a 'per million' people scale so that counties and regions can be easily compared.
Threshold ranges provide a way to divide continuous outcomes into discrete categories. For example, any number between 40 and 70 daily cases per million is mapped to the letter "C", with 20-40 daily cases per million letter "B". The particular threshold levels selected have been determined by public health experts.
3-day case surge is defined as 3 consecutive days in which there is an increase of 10% or more in new cases each day. Given the high infectiousness of the virus, this metric provides early signals of a sudden increase in infection.
For more information, please see the Framework for Monitoring COVID-19 Public Health Indicators.
Who Built It
MI Safe Start Map has been collaboratively developed by a group of volunteer faculty, students, alumni and friends of the University of Michigan School of Information and the University of Michigan School of Public Health.
Paul Resnick, SI project lead
UMSI Project Team
Eytan Adar, James Benjey, Nupur Bindal, Claire-Isabelle Carlier, Mark Halliwell, Yuxuan Chen, Cassie Eddy, Kyle Essenmacher, Alex Fidel, Ella Gazdecki, Ashley Hampton, Michael Hess, Willa Hua, Yaro Kaminsky, Rhea Kulkarni, Ani Madurkar, Emil Meireles, Ben Mullins, Mustafa Naseem, Emily Oxford, Cleo Pontone, Ashwin Rajadesingan, Michael Rigney, Dominique Roitman, Yuncheng Shen Kyle Smith, Kris Steinhoff, Sophia Timko, Etiowo Usoro, William Zhang
Sharon Kardia, SPH project lead
UMSPH Project Team
Vaibhav Bafna, Andrew Brouwer, Jeremy D'Silva, Peter DeJonge, Marisa Eisenberg, Michael Hayashi, Emily Toth Martin, Ashley Murphy, Joshua Petrie, Michael Rigney, Jon Zelner
December 27, 2020
- Addition of Healthcare Capacity indicators
December 17, 2020
- New compare page; added CDC trend calculation on cases
December 1, 2020
- New Resources page and revised About page
November 19, 2020
- Selections saved in URLs, for better sharing of deep links
November 18, 2020
- Better zooming and panning in charts; show computed county risk levels instead of showing region risk level for counties
September 29, 2020
- Addition of Syndromic Data, based on ER and urgent care visits.
September 22, 2020
- New color scheme, threshold levels, and naming convention for risk levels.
August 9, 2020
- Added toggles to include/exclude probable cases.
July 28, 2020
- Higher risk level at 70 cases per million; changes to risk levels for tests percent positive.
July 26, 2020
- Added toggle to include Correctional Facilities Data.
June 15, 2020
- Menu for selecting county or region; added statewide option; accessibility and usability improvements.
June 10, 2020
- Accessibility and usability improvements.
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