Michigan announced a slew of new COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday as part of a three-week plan to curb the spread of the virus statewide. And it looks a lot like the measures in Europe, implemented weeks ago.
Michigan’s new restrictions, which come into effect Wednesday and the last three weeks, involve limiting gatherings at restaurants, bars, high schools, colleges, in-person work and more.
The Saturday, Michigan has reported 7,072 new cases of COVID-19 and 65 additional deaths, bringing the state’s total to 251,813 cases and 7,994 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Michigan reported a one-day record of 8,516 new cases on Friday.
Plus: ‘3 week break’: Michigan announces tougher COVID rules: what you need to know
Much of Europe began to see an increase in COVID-19 cases earlier in October, and many countries have reinstated some lockdown measures to try to stop the growth of cases and deaths.
France and Germany, for example, both announced partial lockdowns at the end of October, both extending through November. Like Michigan’s new rules, both countries have closed bars, restaurants and other entertainment venues and kept schools open. (Although Michigan is moving middle and high schools towards distance learning).
The first results show positive signs
It has been more than two weeks since partial lockdown measures were put in place in France and Germany, and in both countries, the growth of cases appears to be stabilizing.
In Germany, the rise in new infections has since slowed, but on Friday the country again recorded a record 23,542 newly confirmed cases. As of Monday, 10,824 new cases were reported by the country’s center for disease control, but the numbers are generally lower at the start of the week due to reduced testing and the delay in reporting.
Germany’s health minister has told his compatriots to prepare for a long winter, regardless of whether a partial shutdown succeeds in reducing the number of cases.
“This doesn’t mean that things can really start over everywhere from December or January, and that we can throw weddings or Christmas parties like nothing has happened – that won’t work,” said Jens Spahn. at RBB Inforadio.
France reported the first drop in hospitalizations since September on Sunday, although French ICUs are still at 96% occupancy. And hospital capacity remains a major concern across Europe.
Leaders don’t celebrate exactly that. German Chancellor Angela Merkel will assess the effects of a nearly two-week partial lockdown with state governors during a video conference on Monday.
On Thursday, the Robert Koch Institute, the national center for the fight against the disease in Germany, said that 21,866 new cases had been registered in the last 24 hours in the country of 83 million people. That’s a far cry from a high of 23,399 set on Saturday, but nearly 2,000 more than a week earlier.
Institute director Lothar Wieler said he was “cautiously optimistic” because “the curve is rising a little less steeply, it is flattening.” But he said “we don’t know yet if this is a stable development” and it is too early to assess the effect of the new restrictions.
At the same time, he highlighted an increasingly tense situation in hospitals, with infections spreading again to the elderly and more vulnerable. As of Wednesday, there were at least 3,127 patients with COVID-19 in intensive care in Germany.
Plus: Signs of hope in Germany, France but viral strains in hospitals
In other European countries, lockdown measures appear to have slowed growth in Spain, Italy and Portugal, although countries still have extremely high cases compared to early 2020.
Not an exact comparison
There are obvious differences between Michigan and Germany, France. Both of these countries are backed by a nationalized plan, unlike Michigan, which operates as a state without a federal mandate on pandemic restrictions.
In addition, Germany and France have put in place measures to compensate for lost income for individuals and businesses affected by the partial lockdowns.
Germany, for example, announced an $ 11 billion aid package to help small businesses and the self-employed and unemployed. France has extended its aid measures by 23 billion dollars to help small businesses.
In the United States, negotiations for another stimulus package are stalled ahead of the election and there are currently no signs of progress on either side. The United States adopted its first relief package in April, but efforts to expand it have met with resistance, especially from Republicans in the Senate.
Related: Here are 14 changes that will take effect under Michigan’s new COVID-19 restrictions
The 2nd vaccine shows its success
Moderna said on Monday his COVID-19 vaccine proves highly effective in major trial, a second ray of hope in the global vaccine race against the resurgence of a virus that now kills more than 8,000 people a day worldwide.
The company said its vaccine appears to be 94.5% effective, according to preliminary data from Moderna’s ongoing study. A week ago, competitor Pfizer Inc. announced that its own COVID-19 vaccine appeared to be just as effective – news that puts the two companies on track to seek clearance within weeks for emergency use at United States
A vaccine can’t come fast enough, as cases of the virus topped 11 million in the United States over the weekend – 1 million of them were recorded last week. The pandemic has killed more than 1.3 million people worldwide, including more than 245,000 in the United States
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