Michigan announces about 2,000 more coronavirus cases


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan has reported 2,091 more cases of coronavirus and 23 more related deaths.

Sixteen of the deaths added to the state tally Thursday were discovered as public health officials checked death certificates to find any that had not already been reported to the state.

In all, Michigan has now seen a total of 603,375 confirmed cases of the virus in the one year since it was found here and it has contributed to 17,729 deaths.

On Wednesday, labs tested 45,468 samples for the virus and 2,020, or 4.44%, 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 recorded three more deaths, making its total 666. It also confirmed 95 more cases for a total of 49,669.

Three other West Michigan counties also reported additional deaths:

  • Montcalm County: Two more deaths for 88 total; 3,298 total confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.
  • Newaygo County: One more death for 50 total; 2,831 total confirmed cases.
  • Ottawa County: One more death for 321 total; 21,440 total confirmed cases.

Wayne County, where Detroit is, reported one more death for a total of 3,964 and confirmed 293 more cases for a total of 97,250. Neighboring Oakland County has had 66,208 cases (270 more than the previous day) and 1,911 deaths (one more). Macomb County has had 56,864 cases (279 more) and 1,882 deaths (two more).

As Michigan this week marked one year since its first two coronavirus cases were confirmed, its virus case and testing positivity rates have rebounded slightly over the last three weeks and hospitalizations are now on an upward trajectory. The rate of deaths, the metric that changes last, is still trending down and is now lower than it has been since September.

“We are starting to see a slight reversal in some of the progress that we’ve made of the past couple of months,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive, said during a Wednesday address in Lansing. “But that just means we have to double down on what we know works and what we’ve been doing for the past year.”

Khaldun also noted she was concerned about more coronavirus variant cases being identified in Michigan, including about 500 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant that originated in the United Kingdom and one case of the B.1.351 variant that was first found in South Africa. Both of those variants are more transmissible than the dominant strain the United States has been dealing with.

Michigan has received about 3.4 million vaccine doses from the federal government and about 2.8 million of those have been administered. As more and more doses are sent to the state, local health departments say they are having more success finding best practices and are working to reach older people who may have had trouble registering and underserved groups, like people in rural communities.

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