Michigan reports about 5,500 more coronavirus cases


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan on Saturday announced 5,530 more confirmed cases of coronavirus and 69 additional related deaths. In all, Michigan has now had 785,307 total cases since the virus was first detected the state in March 2020 and 16,840 related deaths.

Of the deaths announced Saturday, 60 were found during a review of death certificates to find any that had not already been reported to the state. Such checks happen three times per week.

The state counts 603,094 patients as recovered; that estimate counts everyone still alive 30 days after developing symptoms. It does not account for the “long-haulers” who suffer symptoms, including loss of smell and taste, trouble breathing and brain fog, for months after contracting the virus.

On Friday, labs tested 58,307 samples for the virus and 7,075, or 12.13%, 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 on Friday reported 1 more deaths, bringing its total to 702, and confirmed 359 more cases for a total of 59,771.

Deaths were also added in several other West Michigan counties:

  • Allegan County: Two more deaths for 103 total; 8,576 total confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.
  • Calhoun County: Two more deaths for 243 total; 10,790 total cases.
  • Cass County: One more death for 67 total; 4,391 total cases.
  • Ionia County: Two more deaths for 74 total; 5,177 total cases.
  • Kalamazoo County: One more death for 305 total; 17,532 total cases.

Wayne County, which has been hit hardest by the virus over the course of the pandemic and which is again posting some of the highest figures, confirmed 1,074 cases, bringing its total to 132,348 since the start of the pandemic, and reported 12 more deaths for a total of 4,173. Neighboring Oakland County has had 90117 confirmed cases (796 more than the previous day) and 2008 deaths (8 more). Macomb County has had 80,883 cases (677 more) and 2002 deaths (10 more).

The state has administered nearly 5.8 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, reaching more than 44% of the state’s population over the age of 16 with at least one shot. The goal is to reach 70%.

Michigan currently has the highest COVID-19 case and hospitalization rates in the country, and the average test positivity rate is above 17%, nearly six times the 3% public health officials say shows community spread is controlled. While deaths are again climbing, the rise is happening slower than during the fall surge.

With the pandemic continuing, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Friday announced its Gatherings and Mask epidemic order would remain in effect through May 24. While most of it is unchanged, it did expand mask requirements to children as young as 2.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and MDHHS have been reticent to institute stronger restrictions during this surge, instead pushing people to stick to mitigation protocols and get vaccinated as quickly as possible and promising expanded use of antibody and antiviral therapies for those who are sick.

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