Northern Michigan may experience COVID-19 'peak' later

Apr 13, 2020


A sign and yellow tape show that a beach and playground are closed in Suttons Bay during the pandemic.
Credit Noelle Riley / Interlochen Public Radio

Epidemiologists say the coronavirus is slowing its spread in southeast Michigan and the state could see its peak number of cases soon. But COVID-19 is still appearing in northern Michigan and its peak may come later, some say.


Josh Petrie, a research assistant professor in the department of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, says the social distancing is helping lower the number of cases.


"We essentially started the social distancing before it got in northern Michigan in a big way so I think that could delay things up there and hopefully keep it at a lower level that can be ultimately contained,” he says.


Still, Petrie says the disease continues to spread, with mid-Michigan just now starting to see its surge in hospital patients. He says only time will tell if northern Michigan will see bigger peaks. That's why Petrie says it's imperative that people follow the governor's stay at home order. It's the strongest defense against the disease, he says.


Any bright spots ahead?


Petrie says other coronavirus' have not transmitted well in warmer seasons, which means cases could start to drop off this summer.


But, the virus could always reappear in the fall and winter. He says it's too early for researchers to know.