Brad Gowland | Michigan Radio
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Brad Gowland

Digital Tech Specialist

Brad Gowland joined Michigan Radio in 2019 to help with the station's growing digital side, specializing in data collection and digital audio. Brad got his start in radio at New York City's WNYC, where he was a data analyst and computer programmer (and made lots of great friends). He loves Morning Edition, the Grateful Dead, and crosswords.  

MSU Belmont Tower
EMMA WINOWIECKI / Michigan Radio

Update, Thursday September 23: Michigan State University has updated its online COVID-19 dashboard to reflect cases reported by the Ingham County Health Department, two days after the county's public health director revealed the health department's case count was far higher than what the university was publicly stating. 

The university notified the public of the change, says spokesman Dan Olsen, by contacting reporters Thursday morning and sending out a notice in the campus newsletter that afternoon. 

"The university’s COVID-19 dashboard now reflects the total number of positive cases of MSU students and employees reported by the Ingham County Health Department," the newsletter reads. "It does not include students and employees tested outside of the county and does not necessarily include those who self-reported a positive case to the university." 

That change means the case numbers listed on MSU's site essentially doubled overnight, from 548 cases at the start of this week, to 1,239 cases since July 27th. A spokesperson for MSU said the university is "continuing our ongoing partnership with [the health department] to report this information weekly (each Monday.)" 

Those case numbers are still slightly lower than the 1,250 MSU-related cases Ingham County Health Director Linda Vail said her department had recorded in the last 30 days. Those cases only include those the health department can verify are MSU students, faculty, or staff, Vail said Tuesdsay, and do not include secondary cases in the broader East Lansing community. 

This story will continue to be updated. 

Original post, Tuesday September 22: Michigan State University is knowingly underreporting the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among students, faculty, and staff, according to information released by the Ingham County Health Department on Tuesday.

Belmont Tower at MSU
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

More than 900 students and staff members have been added to the growing list of COVID-19 outbreaks in Michigan’s schools, according to state data released on Monday. And college students account for almost 95% of all school outbreak cases.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

At least 1,412 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed as part of new or ongoing outbreaks across 27 schools, according to data released by the state for the first time on Monday.

The vast majority of outbreaks (defined as two or more cases with shared exposure on school grounds) are among college students, who account for 20 of the total reported outbreaks and 1,370 of all school cases. (Two of the colleges, Adrian College and Calvin University, said their outbreaks included staff as well as students, but those numbers weren’t broken down.)

Kate Trifo for Unsplash

Linda Vail does not want to take anybody to court.

But the Ingham County Health Officer has had to send out some warning letters to young people who refuse to cooperate with contact tracers.

“We still run into the occasions where people just flat out refuse to talk to us, refuse to give us information on their contacts,” says Vail. “And honestly, at that point, I just send them a warning letter that basically tells them that they have to. And then we can take them to court if that becomes a problem.”

testing swab
Shutterstock image

The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t slowing down in the United States. But in Michigan, things are starting to look up. Hospitalizations are down, the rate of case increase is slowing, and the state has been able to slowly reopen the economy over the past few weeks.

Kendal @hikendal for Unsplash

Michigan is now testing nearly 15,000 people per day on average, state officials say. That’s a big improvement. But it’s still far short of the “robust level” of 30,000 daily tests needed “to help us identify any new cases and swiftly contain the disease,” Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said Friday. 

Brad Gowland / Michigan Radio

Michiganders are getting back on the move.

An analysis of anonymous cell phone mobility data from the Cuebiq Mobility Index shows that movement dropped significantly in the state ahead of Gov. Whitmer’s stay-at-home order that went into effect March 24, and managed to maintain that low level of movement for approximately four weeks.

But the average amount of movement has increased since April 12, despite the stay-at-home order remaining in place.

COVID-19 cases per 10,000 residents in Michigan counties
Brad Gowland / Michigan Radio

Eight weeks ago, only Wayne and Oakland counties had confirmed cases of COVID-19. Now, there are cases in all but five counties.

And while some counties have taken a harder hit than others, it’s difficult to understand the scale of the outbreak in each county solely based on case number. So, we broke it down by the number of cases per 10,000 people.

Brad Gowland / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order went into effect on Tuesday, March 24. But it appears many Michiganders had already started staying home the week before, as it became clear that the COVID-19 outbreak had reached the state.

Brad Gowland / Michigan Radio

For weeks, we've been hearing all about "flattening the curve." 

The idea is if everyone stays home and practices social distancing, the number of COVID-19 cases will increase at a rate that won't overwhelm the health care system. 

As of September 26, there have been 133,377 cases of COVID-19 in Michigan and 7,027 deaths.

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The chart below provides a look at how overall confirmed cases and fatalities are growing across the state on a daily basis. It is meant to show growth over time.