Michigan reports about 1,500 more coronavirus cases over weekend


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan reported 1,484 more confirmed cases of coronavirus and three more associated deaths over the last two days.

The Monday update from the state, which includes two days’ worth of data, brings the total number of confirmed cases in Michigan to 581,403 since it was first detected here in March 2020 and the total number of related deaths to 15,362.

Nationwide, 500,000 people have died after contracting the virus.

On Saturday, labs in Michigan tested 22,580 samples for the virus and 912 were positive, a rate of 3.87%. On Sunday, 22,292 samples were tested and 986, or 4.42%, 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.

Twenty schools have been added to the states’ list of outbreaks in educational settings, bringing the total to 132. The largest of the outbreaks are at colleges and universities, with associated cases often numbering in the hundreds or even thousands at the biggest schools.

NorthPointe Christian High School in Grand Rapids now has an outbreak affected 15 students and staff members. An outbreak at Forest Hills Central High School remains at 24 students and staff members. The biggest outbreak at a K-12 school right now is at Lapeer High School, which has recorded 48 cases.

Kent County recorded 101 more confirmed cases for a total of 48,335 since the start of the pandemic. The number of deaths remained unchanged at 644.

Barry and Berrien counties each reported one more death for totals of 41 and 218, respectively. Barry County has had 3,378 total confirmed cases and Berrien County 10,541 cases.

Wayne County, where Detroit is, confirmed 270 more cases over the two days for a total of 93,557. The number of deaths remained unchanged at 3,900. Oakland County has had 63,818 confirmed cases (137 more than were recorded Saturday) and 1,867 deaths (no change). Macomb County has had 54,571 cases (135 more) and 1,847 deaths (no change).

Michigan’s virus metrics continue keep looking better, with the case rate on a fairly steady decline since early January and the seven-day average of the test positivity rate inching closer to the 3% threshold that public health officials look for to show community spread is controlled.

Hospitalizations have also been declining, now better than they have been since mid-October. The daily death rate, a lagging metric, is better than it has been since late October.

Of concern now is the B.1.1.7 variant, a more transmissible strain that was first identified in the United Kingdom and is now being detected around Michigan. On Monday, Muskegon public health officials announced they had identified their first case of the variant. They said the person had been isolated and their close contacts quarantined. There have been a total of 311 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant statewide, officials said.

Vaccines will be key in tamping down that and other variants, but the vaccine rollout saw a hiccup last week as shipments were delayed by poor weather in the South. That caused a decline in the average number of doses administered each day. The good news is that the Kent County Health Department this week got its largest shipment yet, with 10,000 doses coming in.

Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport announced Monday it will start offering on-site COVID-19 testing through partner OptiMed. You can either get a free PCR test, which takes a day or two to come back, or pay $100 for a rapid antigen test that turns around in 15 minutes. You don’t need a referral. While you can make an appointment at COVID19AZO.com, walk-ins are also welcome.

Gerald R. Ford International Airport has been offering such testing with partner TACKL Health since December.


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