Michigan reports 2,230 more coronavirus cases over 2 days


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan reported 2,230 more confirmed cases of coronavirus over the weekend, as well as 20 more related deaths.

The Monday update, which includes two days’ worth of data because there is no data dump on Sundays, brings the total number of confirmed cases in Michigan to 876,854 since the virus was first detected here 14 months ago and the total number of associated deaths to 18,627.

On Saturday, labs tested 28,564 samples for the virus and 1,788 were positive, which works out to 6.26%. On Sunday, 26,314 samples were tested and 1,495, or 5.68%, 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 added 55 more schools to its list of outbreaks at K-12 schools, colleges and universities, bringing the total number it is tracking at such institutions to 301. The largest of the new outbreaks is at the Rockford Freshman Center, which has reported 18 cases among students. Harrington Elementary in Albion has counted 15 cases among both students and staff. All the other new outbreaks involve 10 or fewer cases.

Kent County counted 206 more confirmed cases for a total of 66,948 since the start of the pandemic. The tally of deaths remained unchanged from Saturday at 750.

Four West Michigan counties did report additional deaths:

  • Calhoun County: Two more deaths for 270 total; 12,075 total confirmed cases since March 2020.
  • Kalamazoo County: One more death for 346 total; 19,816 total cases.
  • Muskegon County: One more death for 338 total; 15,127 total cases.
  • Ottawa County: One more death for 366 total; 29,853 total cases.

Wayne County, hit hardest by the virus, reported four more deaths for a total of 4,593 and 443 more confirmed cases for a total of 149,881. Neighboring Oakland County has had 100,330 confirmed cases (198 more than reported Saturday) and 2,175 deaths (one more). Macomb County has had 90,516 cases (238 more) and 2,244 deaths (one more).

About 7.7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Michigan and the percentage of residents 16 and up with at least one dose is a little higher than 56%.

Children as young as 12 are now getting vaccinated; about half of Michigan residents above that age have gotten at least one dose. Spectrum Health says it gave doses to about 700 people over the weekend at its clinic on 60th Street at Patterson Avenue in metro Grand Rapids, about 550 of whom were under the age of 18. Of the about 700 people, about 100 were walk-ins.

The mass vaccination site at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids, meanwhile, is expected to wrap up operations at the end of the week as Spectrum Health, Mercy Health and the Kent County Health Department — which were partnering to run it — shift to more community-based strategies to reach people who may be hesitant.

“We had just hoards of volunteers to help us … across those four months to give over 225,000 vaccines,” Spectrum Health Chief Operating Officer Brian Brasser. “We are very, very proud of the work and really pleased about how it impacted our ability to really lead the state in so many different ways by vaccinating our communities.”

The final days of appointments are Tuesday and Friday.

Michigan’s next milestone for the promised loosening of restrictions is 60% of people 16 and up, after which Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has said stadiums, conference centers, funeral homes and gyms will see higher capacity limits and the curfew will be lifted for bars and restaurants. At the rate of growth we’ve been seeing recently, it will take weeks to reach 60%.

Michigan is seeing sustained and steady improvements in its key virus metrics. The seven-day average of the positive test rate has dropped below 9% for the first time since March 22. The case rate has been on the decline for nearly six weeks. The hospital inpatient census has been cut in half since its high on April 19. The rate of deaths, the last metric to show changes, is now showing week-over-week improvements.

As the metrics drop and the percentage of the population vaccinated continues to grow — albeit more slowly now than in April — federal and state health officials say it’s OK for people who are fully vaccinated to go without a mask indoors and for everyone to go without outside.

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration has not yet issued updated guidance for workplaces.

Businesses can still require that their customers masks regardless of vaccination status — but as of Monday, Meijer, Walmart and Target say fully vaccinated customers don’t have to wear them.

While the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ current Gatherings and Mask epidemic order runs through May 31, the governor’s office said Friday that all the state’s masks orders will expire July 1.

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