GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan on Saturday announced 3,431 more confirmed cases of coronavirus and 131 additional related deaths. In all, Michigan has now had 844,385 total cases since the virus was first detected the state in March 2020 and 17,742 related deaths.
Of the deaths announced Saturday, 98 were found during a review of death certificates to find any that had not already been reported to the state. Such checks happen three times per week.
The state estimates 660,124 patients have recovered. That figure includes everyone still alive 30 days after developing symptoms but does not account for the “long-haulers” who suffer symptoms, including loss of smell and taste, trouble breathing and brain fog, for months after contracting the virus.
On Friday, labs tested 44,411 samples for the virus and 4,365 were positive, a rate of 9.83%. 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 332 more cases for a total of 64,251 and nine more deaths for a total of 731.
Other West Michigan counties also reported additional deaths:
- Allegan County: One more death for 108 total; 9,304 total confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.
- Berrien County: Two more death for 251 total; 13,256 total cases.
- Calhoun County: Two more death for 253 total; 11,483 total cases.
- Kalamazoo County: One more death for 318 total; 18,919 total cases.
- Mecosta County: Four more death for 30 total; 2,816 total cases.
- Montcalm County: Two more death for 100 total; 4,927 total cases.
- Muskegon County: Two more death for 320 total; x total cases.
- Oceana County: One more death for 52 total; 2,481 total cases.
- Ottawa County: Three more death for 356 total; 28,550 total cases.
- Van Buren County: Three more death for 103 total; 6,310 total cases.
Wayne County, the state’s most populous county and also hit hardest by the virus, reported 18 additional deaths for a total of 4,376 and confirmed 616 more cases for a total of 143,849. Neighboring Oakland County has had 97,058 cases (447 more than the previous day) and 2084 deaths (20 more). Macomb County has had 87,446 cases (380 more) and 2,135 deaths (25 more).
Michigan is starting to recover from a surge, seeing the case and test positivity rates and hospitalizations all declining. However, Michigan still has the highest case rate and hospital bed utilization of any state in the nation. The positive test rate is still more than four times higher than the 3% threshold public health officials say shows community spread is controlled.
“This is better, but it is still not where we want to be,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive, said at a press conference earlier this week. “These are good trends in the right direction and I want to thank all of the Michiganders who are doing the right thing” by following mitigation protocols.”
So far, nearly 7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Michigan. About half of the state’s population over the age of 16 has received at least one dose.
“This is incredible,” Khaldun said of the state’s vaccination rate. “We have come such a long way over the past four months. Vaccines are the best and quickest way for us to end this pandemic and it’s important that everyone is vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccines are the path forward to do what you want to do.”
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday laid out her “MI Vacc to Normal Challenge,” which ties the loosening of restrictions to the percentage of people who have received at least their first dose — the first time in the course of the pandemic she has set any benchmarks to prompt state action.
The first step, which will happen two weeks after 55% of the state’s population over the age of 16 has at least their first dose, will put workers in all sectors back in the office. Under the final step, tied to the state’s goal of 70% vaccinated, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will lift its Gatherings and Mask order.