Michigan reports about 1,200 more coronavirus cases

Coronavirus

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan has reported 1,193 more confirmed cases of coronavirus and 23 more related deaths.

The Friday update from the state brings the total number of cases in Michigan to 579,284 since the virus was first detected here in March 2020 and the total number of associated deaths to 15,296.

On Thursday, labs tested 35,591 samples for the virus and 1,061 were positive, a rate of 2.98%. 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 88 more cases, bringing its total to 48,181 since the start of the pandemic. The number of deaths remained unchanged at 641.

Allegan County reported two more deaths for a total of 95. It has had 6,464 total cases.

Wayne County, where Detroit is, reported five more deaths, bringing its total to 3,893. It also confirmed 176 more cases for a total of 93,200. Oakland County has had 63,631 cases (128 more than the previous day) and 1,855 deaths (no change). Macomb County has had 54,348 cases (106 more) and 1,841 deaths (one more).

The state’s chief epidemiologist said during a Wednesday briefing that Michigan continues to see improving virus metrics, with case and test positivity rates both on the downtrend for five weeks. The seven-day average of the positivity rate is now around 3.5%; public health officials look for a rate below 3% to show community spread is controlled. Hospitalization and daily death rates also continue to drop.

As things get better, six of the state’s eight regions have been moved from Risk Level E, the highest level, to Risk Level D. Only the Lansing and Jackson regions remain at Risk Level E.

Still, Michigan has restrictions in effect meant to mitigate spread in place, including a 25% capacity limit and curfews for restaurants, which were allowed to reopen their dining rooms under those guidelines Feb. 1.

“We’ve got to watch the numbers. It takes two to three weeks before you see increased activity and the numbers turn out in your positives in terms of testing,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told News 8 in a live interview Friday evening. “But right now we boast one of the lowest positivity rates in the nation. We’ve put over 1.7 million shots in arms to date. So those numbers are all in the right direction and it is my hope in the coming days or weeks that we can take another step forward — but we’ve got to watch the data.”

Earlier Friday, she joined President Joe Biden on a visit to Pfizer’s plant in Portage, touring the facility that is making COVID-19 vaccine doses for the entire nation. Pfizer expects to have delivered a total of 120 million doses to the U.S. government for distribution by the end of March and a total of 200 million by end of May.

Biden says his administration will have secured enough doses for every American by the end of July, though he noted not all of it will have been distributed by then. That’s 600 million doses, coming from both Pfizer and Moderna. The president urged everyone to get their shots when it is their turn.

Michigan, which will need a total of about 11.6 million doses to reach about 5.6 million people, has so far received about 2.3 million doses.

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