Local counties rank as "Flattening" on Gov. Whitmer's six-phase re-engagement plan

LANSING, Mich. (WTVG) - As Michigan begins the process of reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has divided the state into eight regions.

As of now, two of the regions -- Traverse City Region and Upper Peninsula Region -- have progressed to the fourth stage of the governor's six-stage reopening plan, "Improving."

The other six regions remain in the "Flattening" stage of Whitmer's plan, including the Jackson Region (Lenawee County) and Detroit Region (Monroe County).

Whitmer's "MI Safe Start Plan" has six phases and is designed to reengage the state's economy. The six stages are Uncontrolled Growth; Persistent Spread; Flattening; Improving; Containing, and Post-Pandemic.

The Flattening portion of the plan -- also referred to as "flattening the curve" -- is defined as when the epidemic is not increasing and there is sufficient capacity in the health system. It happens when daily new cases and deaths remain relatively consistent over a time period.

The Improving portion is when cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are clearly declining. Any new outbreaks are handled by the health system capacity, leading the case fatality rate to not rise above typical levels.