GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan on Thursday reported 4,867 more confirmed coronavirus cases and 108 related deaths as the state’s surge starts to show some signs of improvement.
Of the 108 deaths, 75 were discovered when public health officials combed through death certificates to find any that had not already been reported to the state.
Michigan has now recorded 809,591 total confirmed cases of the virus since it was first detected here in March 2020 and 17,139 related deaths.
On Wednesday, labs tested 58,137 samples for the virus and 7,007 were positive, a rate of 12.05%. 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 three more deaths for a total of 711 and confirmed 326 more cases for a total of 61,562.
The following West Michigan counties also reported additional deaths:
- Berrien County: Three more deaths for 245 total; 12,881 total confirmed cases since March 2020.
- Calhoun County: One more death for 248 total; 11,061 total cases.
- Montcalm County: One more death for 93 total; 4,630 total cases.
- Oceana County: One more death for 50 total; 2,349 total cases.
- Ottawa County: Two more deaths for 349 total; 27,358 total cases.
- Van Buren County: Two more deaths for 97 total; 6,064 total cases.
Wayne County, hit hardest by the virus, reported nine more deaths for a total of 4,249 and 936 more cases for a total of 137,104. Neighboring Oakland County has had 92,866 cases (584 more than the previous day) and 2,038 deaths (12 more). Macomb County has had 83,987 cases (565 more) and 2,034 deaths (17 more).
Michigan still has the worst coronavirus outbreak in the country, though some metrics are starting to see modest improvements. The average case and positivity rates appear to be on the downtrend and hospitalizations on Thursday dropped below the fall peak.
Spectrum Health, which has so far not reached its fall peak, has seen small declines inpatient numbers all week. President and CEO Tina Freese Decker said during a Wednesday virtual briefing that she was hopeful the hospital system saw its spring peak over the weekend.
“…We think we might be headed down a bit, but I don’t want anyone to be lulled into a false sense of security here,” Spectrum Health West Michigan President Dr. Darryl Elmouchi added. “This absolutely is both real and could easily jump back up if people let their guard down.”
Michigan has received more than 8.3 million vaccine doses and nearly 6.3 million of those have been administered. Nearly 47% of the state’s population over the age of 16 has received at least one shot and 33% has finished their doses. The goal is to reach 70%.
The state announced Thursday that the federal government is sending 200 more workers to help at three mass vaccination sites, including DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, in an effort to help quell the surge.
Whitmer had asked the federal government to send more vaccine doses to Michigan, but the White House said that wasn’t going to happen. It did, however, promise more people, testing equipment and treatments.
The federal workers — coming from everywhere from the Department of Defense to the U.S. Forest Service — will also help staff the Ford Field mass vaccination site and the one at the TCF Center in Detroit. Some will work clinical jobs, while others will serve in non-clinical roles. Some arrived in Michigan as early as Wednesday and all 200 are expected to be put to work by April 28.
“The vaccines work. They’re effective, they’re safe,” Elmouchi said. “They’re the best way we’re going to get back to normal.”
Spectrum Health Pennock has scheduled a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Thornapple Kellogg Middle School in Middleville to run from 8 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Saturday. Nine hundred doses will be available. You can register by calling 833.755.0696 or by going online.