By Jessica Mathews /

Today marks the two-year anniversary of Michigan's first confirmed cases of COVID-19. Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency later the same day.

Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the world has seen a dramatic improvement in infections, hospitalizations and death rates in recent weeks - signaling the crisis appears to be winding down. The milestone comes as Michigan is recovering from the fourth wave of the virus, which was in part driven by the highly-contagious omicron variant.

Local health officials have stressed that as cases continue to decline, testing remains important.

Per the most recent data from the state, Michigan’s total number of confirmed cases is 2,064,093. The total COVID-19 death toll is 32,374. This week, the state recorded 1,739 cases and 240 deaths from over two days. In Livingston County, there have been 37,966 confirmed cases and 433 deaths.

Health officials caution that the pandemic is not over and despite declining spread, COVID will continue to come in waves. Experts say past epidemics could provide clues as to how long it will last but it could be a long drawn-out process. That includes different types of endings that may not all occur at the same time. There is the “medical end,” when disease recedes, the “political end,” when government disease prevention measures cease, and the “social end,” when people move on.

More information about local cases and guidance is available on the Livingston County Health Department's website. The link is provided. AP Photo.