Michigan reports about 2,600 more coronavirus cases


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan has reported 2,629 more confirmed cases of coronavirus and 25 more related deaths.

Twenty-four of the deaths were discovered in a review of death certificates to find any that had not already been reported to the state.

The Thursday update brings the total number of cases in Michigan to 618,421 since the virus was first detected here a year ago and the total number of associated deaths to 15,835.

On Wednesday, labs tested 49,556 samples for the virus and 3,067 were positive. That’s a positivity rate of 6.19%. 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 two more deaths, making its total 666. It also confirmed 124 more cases for a total of 50,478.

The death toll in Berrien County was revised down by one to 228. This has not been uncommon as cases are double-checked and sometimes moved between counties. Berrien County has had a total of 11,129 confirmed cases since the pandemic started.

The death count was also revised down by one in Wayne County to a total of 3,974. The county, which has been hit hardest by the virus, confirmed 364 more cases for a total of 99,833. Neighboring Oakland County has had 68,094 total cases (363 more than the previous day) and 1,925 deaths (seven more). Macomb County has had 58,648 confirmed cases (285 more) and 1,895 deaths (four more).

As Michigan sees its case and positivity rates on the uptick, public health officials are urging people to “double down” on mitigation efforts like social distancing and wearing masks.

The state’s case rates have been rising since mid-February, and in a change from previous trends, people below the age of 70 are seeing a faster rapid than those who are older. Public health officials attribute this to a larger percentage of people over the age of 70 being vaccinated.

The statewide seven-day average of the positivity rate is now nearing 6%, nearly twice the threshold public health officials point to to show community spread is controlled. Health leaders have reminded people that it is important to get tested if you aren’t feeling well or have come in contact with someone else who has tested positive so we can track the virus and contain outbreaks.

Hospitalizations are also rising steadily, if slowly, but the death rate remains on the decline.

Michigan has received more than 3.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine and about 3.2 million of those have been administered. A little more than 2 million people in the state have gotten at least their first dose of the vaccine — more than 25% of the population over the age of 16.

“We are not near, quite frankly, the herd immunity numbers…” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive, said during a Wednesday press briefing on virus data. “So while we are hopeful that as we get more and more vaccines into the state and more and more people vaccinated, we will not see the type of surge we saw in 2020, I still think we are at risk.”

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