GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan has reported 4,801 more confirmed cases of coronavirus and six more related deaths.
On Saturday, labs tested 28,843 samples for the virus and 2,332, 8.09%, were positive. On Sunday, 26,394 samples were tested and 2,538, or 9.62%, 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.
The state has started tracking 65 more coronavirus outbreaks at K-12 schools, colleges and universities, bringing the total number of such outbreaks to 231. Portage Central High School and Portage Central Elementary are tracking outbreaks of 20 or more people, NorthPointe Christian School has at least 30 cases and Forest Hills Central 34 cases, while East Grand Rapids High School has an outbreak of more than 40.
The number of outbreaks in schools is rising as the state also sees a sharp uptick in the number of confirmed cases among people age 10 to 19. For the first time last week, the number of new outbreaks in schools was larger than the number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities. Public health officials attribute this, in part, to more kids participating in sports and other extracurricular activities.
Two West Michigan counties reported one additional death each over the weekend: Barry and Oceana counties have now had 48 and 49 deaths, respectively. Barry County has had 3,219 total cases and Oceana County 1,846.
The death toll in Ottawa County was revised down by one to 323. This has not been uncommon as cases are double-checked and sometimes moved between jurisdictions. It has had 22,093 total cases.
Kent County confirmed 246 more cases of the virus for a total of 50,999. The number of deaths remained unchanged at 668.
Wayne County, where Detroit is, reported 998 more confirmed cases, bringing its total to 101,951. Its number of deaths remained unchanged from Saturday at 3,988. Oakland County has had 69,632 cases (740 more than were reported Saturday) and 1,935 deaths (no change). Macomb County has had 60,184 cases (655 more) and 1,900 deaths (no change).
Key virus metrics are showing concerning increases in Michigan: The case rate has been on the rise for a month and the average positive testing rate is nearing 7%, more than twice the 3% that public health officials look for to show community spread is controlled.
Hospitalization rates are also on the uptick. More than 1,400 adults were hospitalized Monday, confirmed to have the virus. That’s about twice as many as a month ago and an increase of more than 460 in the past week. The peak during the fall surge, which happened Dec. 1, was 3,884 patients.
As of Monday, Michigan had received more than 4.3 million doses of the vaccine and nearly 3.6 million doses had been administered statewide, reaching about 28.5% of the population over the age of 16. Last week, the state averaged about 67,500 shots given each day; that rate has been increasing fairly steadily week over week.
Several counties have vaccinated a higher percentage of their population than the state average. Those above that 28.5% mark are Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Kent, Ottawa, Berrien and Van Buren counties.
As of Monday afternoon, Cass County is making the slowest progress statewide at 16% of residents vaccinated. The county is grouped with Van Buren for its district health department, which has vaccinated 29% of residents.
Those falling below the statewide progress aren’t far off. Much of the difference can be attributed to local health departments handling distribution as the sole provider in the area before more pharmacies receiving shipments.
“The health department is really the only provider in the jurisdiction that is able to provide vaccine to the community members,” Allegan County Health Department Public Information Officer Lindsay Maunz told News 8. “So knowing that, we’ve really leveraged partnerships across the sectors and learned throughout this response that those community partnerships are key.”
She noted ACHD previously gave some doses to Meijer to help with a clinic prior to the company receiving federal allocation.
“We’re working to identify those solutions and those barriers,” Maunz said.
Effective Monday, everyone age 50 and up and everyone 16 and up with a preexisting health condition is eligible to get vaccinated in Michigan. The state will open up access to everyone, regardless of health status, April 5. However, be aware that it could still take a while to get an appointment because supply is still limited.
Later this week, the federal government will open a mass vaccination site at Ford Field in Detroit. Meijer, which is helping run the site, said Monday it had already registered 110,000 people to get their shots there and set appointments for 14,000. To register, go to Meijer’s website or call the state COVID-19 hotline at 888.535.6136.
—News 8’s Lynsey Mukomel contributed to this report.