GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan reported 6,303 more coronavirus cases and 112 more related deaths Thursday as its surge continues to be the worst in the nation.
The 112 deaths include 81 discovered during a review of death certificates that allows health officials to count those that haven’t already been reported to the state.
Michigan has now had 770,822 total confirmed cases of the virus since it was first detected here March 10, 2020, and recorded 16,731 related deaths.
On Wednesday, labs tested 56,362 samples for the virus and 7,722, or 13.7%, were positive. The number of positive tests is not the same as the number of new cases because people may be tested more than once. Additionally, testing numbers are from a single calendar date, while the number of new cases lists the increase since the last time the state compiled the data; these two time frames do not match up precisely.
Kent County reported 364 more cases for a total of 58,728 since the start of the pandemic and and five more deaths for a total of 698.
Several other West Michigan counties also reported additional deaths:
- Barry County: One more death for 51 total; 4,364 total confirmed cases over the course of the pandemic.
- Branch County: One more death for 87 total; 3,889 total cases.
- Calhoun County: Three more deaths for 238 total; 10,618 total cases.
- Cass County: One more death for 66 total; 4,360 total cases.
- Kalamazoo County: Three more deaths for 301 total; 17,247 total cases.
- Muskegon County: One more death for 307 total; 12,146 total cases.
- Ottawa County: One more death for 343 total; 26,065 total cases.
- St. Joseph County: One more death for 87 total; 4,836 total cases.
Wayne County, the state’s most populous and hit hardest by the virus, reported 2,667 more cases for a total of 129,598 and 28 more deaths for a total of 4,153. Neighboring Oakland County has had 88,235 cases (899 more than the previous day) and 1,999 deaths (13 more). Macomb County has had 79,263 cases (667 more) and 1,987 deaths (17 more).
With its case rate on the rise for seven weeks, Michigan’s rate and overall numbers continue to be the highest of any state, as do its hospitalization and ICU utilization rates.
With the increase in hospitalizations rising faster than during the fall surge, the state posted record high counts of confirmed COVID-19 hospital inpatients two days this week and the number on Thursday remained above the fall peak. Currently, those age 50-69 are being admitted most frequently.
The average age of those getting sick and hospitalized is younger than during the fall surge, likely because older people more likely to be vaccinated and therefore less likely to contract the virus. Nursing homes residents, for example, who have all been offered at least their first shot, are seeing only a mild increase in cases, whereas the figure jumped considerably in the fall.
While the daily test positivity rates have been looking a little better in the last few days — at least in part because more samples are being run daily — the seven-day average remains around 18%.
The death rate has not been rising as quickly as during the fall surge, but it is climbing again and is now around 30 per day. Those age 60-69 are dying at the highest rates. The state now ranks eighth in both highest number and rate of deaths.
Overall, Michigan ranks 10th in the nation for total number of COVID-19-related deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. That is statistically in line with our population, which is the 10th largest of all states.
Of the 10 largest states in the country, only one over-indexed its total number of deaths: New York is the fourth largest state but has the second most deaths. Its neighbor New Jersey, the 11th-largest state, also over-indexed and has recorded the sixth most deaths of any state.
The state has received nearly 7.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, 1.6 million of which are dedicated to specific federal programs. Nearly 5.7 million doses have been administered, which means more than 43% of the state’s population over the age of 16 has received at least one shot. The goal is to reach 70%.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the state’s chief medical executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun on Wednesday urged people to double down on coronavirus mitigation practices and get vaccinated as soon as possible, but Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services did not issue stronger restrictions.
“The past 14 months (have) been very challenging and especially the past couple of months in Michigan as our cases have climbed — but I still have hope we know what to do. We just all have to come together and do it,” Khaldun said.