Michigan confirms about 5,000 more coronavirus cases

Coronavirus

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan has reported 4,964 more confirmed cases of coronavirus and 58 more related deaths.

Sixteen of the deaths were discovered during a review of death certificates to find any that had not already been reported to the state. Such checks are conducted three times per week.

The Tuesday update brings the total number of confirmed cases in Michigan to 707,463 since the virus was first detected here in March 2020 and the total number of associated deaths to 16,297.

On Monday, labs tested 29,455 samples for the virus and 5,015 were positive, a rate of 17.03%. 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 one more death, bringing its total to 691, and confirmed 268 more cases for a pandemic total of 55,116.

Several other West Michigan counties also recorded additional deaths:

  • Barry County: One more death for 51 total; 4,008 total confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.
  • Berrien County: One more death for 233 total; 12,010 total cases.
  • Calhoun County: Two more deaths for 232 total; 9,985 total cases.
  • Kalamazoo County: One more death for 292 total; 15,568 total cases.
  • Mecosta County: One more death for 24 total, 2,280 total cases.
  • Ottawa County: One more death for 334 total; 24,315 total cases.

Wayne County, the state’s most populous, reported 1,000 new cases for a total of 116,694 and saw seven more deaths for a total of 4,060. Neighboring Oakland County has had 80,249 confirmed cases (705 more than the previous day) and 1,959 deaths (five more). Macomb County has had 71,868 cases (670 more) and 1,945 deaths (five more).

RISING METRICS

Michigan is in its third virus surge, with the average case rate now higher than it has been since early December, as the state was see declines from the fall surge. The test positivity rate is soaring, with a seven-day average now 16.5%, more than five times the 3% threshold that indicates community spread is controlled. Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s chief medical executive, said the positivity rate jumped 38% in a single week.

Hospitalizations have more than quadrupled since their low in February and about doubled in the last two weeks alone. About half the inpatients, Khaldun said, are under the age of 60.

“Younger people can get COVID-19. They can get very sick from COVID-19 or they can pass it on to other people who can get very, very sick,” Khaldun reminded residents during a Tuesday press event in Detroit. “So we are all in this together, no matter your age.”

The daily death rate, though it has seen a slight increase recently, has remained low.

VARIANT UPDATE

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed more than 2,020 cases of more transmissible variants in 54 counties.

“There are likely many more that we have not yet identified in the state,” Khaldun warned.

The most common by far is the B.1.1.7 variant that was first discovered in the United Kingdom. Michigan has counted 1,998 such cases, 513 of which are within the state prison system.

The state also has some cases of B.1.351 (first identified in South Africa), P.1 (first found in Brazilian travelers), and B.1.427 and B.1.429 (both believed to have originated in California). The P.1. variant is currently the most scarce, with only three cases: one in each Bay, Genesee and Muskegon counties.

Khaldun said the concerning metrics and climbing variant case count highlight the need to keep following coronavirus mitigation protocols and to get vaccinated against the virus when you can.

Michigan has so far received more than 5.6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses and more than 4.7 million of those have been administered. More than 36% of the population over 16 has gotten at least one; the rates are above 68% for those older than 65.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer got her first dose Tuesday, the day after the state opened eligibility to everyone over the age of 16, calling the vaccination a relief.

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