Michigan reports about 1,500 more virus cases, 37 more related deaths


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan has reported 1,526 new confirmed cases of coronavirus and 37 additional related deaths.

Twenty-nine of the deaths were discovered during 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 confirmed cases in Michigan to 593,279 since the virus was first detected here nearly one year ago and the total number of deaths to 15,600.

On Wednesday, labs in Michigan tested 46,170 samples for the virus and 1,637, or 3.55%, of them 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 two more deaths for a total of 656 and confirmed 94 more cases for a total of 49,160.

Several other West Michigan counties also reported additional deaths:

  • Barry County: One more death for 44 total; 3,455 total confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.
  • Berrien County: Three more deaths for 226 total; 10,748 total cases.
  • Cass County: One more death for 60 total; 3,639 total cases.
  • Ionia County: One more death for 69 total; 4,159 total cases.
  • Kalamazoo County: One more death for 284 total; 13,379 total cases.
  • Newaygo County: One more death for 50 total; 2,746 total cases.
  • Ottawa County: Two more deaths for 319 total; 21,186 total cases.

Wayne County, where Detroit is and hit hardest by the virus, confirmed 218 more cases for a total of 95,495 and recorded five more deaths for a total of 3,934. Neighboring Oakland County has had 65,026 cases (124 more than the previous day) and 1,895 deaths (two more). Macomb County has had 55,723 cases (192 more) and 1,869 deaths (three more).

As of Tuesday, Michigan hospitals, health departments and clinics have been shipped a little more than 3 million doses since the first vaccine was greenlighted in December and about 2.35 million of those have been administered.

The state’s case, positivity and hospitalization rates have recently plateaued. The rate of deaths, the metric that changes last, is still trending down and is better than it has been since mid-October. Michigan now ranks 42nd in the nation for highest case rate and 43rd for highest death rate.

Still, things are much better than they have been in the last few months. Citing that improvement, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced that nursing homes that have not had a recent COVID-19 case may start accepting visitors and that restaurants could start serving at 50% capacity effective Friday. The alteration to the MDHHS epidemic order also loosened some other restrictions on public places and social gatherings.

State officials on Wednesday said that because the flow of COVID-19 vaccine doses into Michigan was speeding up, they were opening up eligibility to include everyone over the age of 50 with a preexisting condition and parents of children with special health needs effective Monday, and that everyone over 50, regardless of whether they have a preexisting condition, can start getting the shot starting March 22.

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