GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan on Friday reported 1,132 more coronavirus cases and 38 additional related deaths.
In all, Michigan has now confirmed 882,189 total cases since the virus was first identified in the state in March 2020 and 18,853 related deaths.
On Thursday, labs tested 28,154 samples for the virus and 1,340 were positive. That’s 4.76%, the lowest the rate has been since March 10. 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 four more deaths, bringing its total to 766, and 91 more cases for a total of 67,405.
Several other West Michigan counties also reported additional deaths:
- Allegan County: One more death for 119 total, 9,846 total confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.
- Barry County: One more death for 62 total; 5,294 total cases.
- Berrien County: One more death for 263 total; 13,733 total cases.
- Calhoun County: One more death for 275 total; 12,165 total cases.
- Newaygo County: One more death for 63 total; 4,458 total cases.
- Ottawa County: Two more deaths for 370 total; 30,037 total cases.
Wayne County, hit hardest by the virus, counted eight more deaths for a total of 4,639 and reported 241 more cases fora total of 150,819. Neighboring Oakland County has had 100,921 total confirmed cases (115 more than the previous day) and 2,196 deaths (four more). Macomb County has had 90,955 cases (96 more) and 2,272 deaths (five more).
While Michigan still has the highest case rate in the nation, the figure has been dropping for six weeks and is now lower than it has been since Feb. 26. The seven-day average of the test positivity rate is now around 7.4% — down a full 11 points from its early April high. The count of adult hospital inpatients has been down every day for more than four weeks. So far this week, the death rate is about statistically flat from the seven-day average last week.
With those virus metrics continuing to show sustained improvements and the vaccination percentage continuing to creep up, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday announced that she was shifting the terms of her “Vacc to Normal” reopening plan. Instead of tying the loosening of restrictions to the percentage of the population vaccinated against COVID-19, she has set specific dates for steps forward. On June 1, all outdoor capacity limits will be lifted, indoor capacity will rise to 50% for all establishments and the curfew on bars and restaurants will expire. On July 1, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services sill lift its Gatherings and Face Mask order — the broadest of its epidemic mandates.
“We may have one or more targeted orders in place to protect vulnerable populations, but for the most part, life will be back to normal and we can have the kind of Independence Day we’re all looking forward to,” the governor said in announcing the plan.
Michigan reached 8 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered Friday. The percentage of residents 16 and up with at least one dose is above 57%.
“The hope that we feel today is thanks to the millions of Michiganders who have gotten vaccinated to keep themselves, their families, and communities safe,” Whitmer said in a Friday statement regarding the vaccination update. “We also owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to every frontline Michigander who played such a vital role keeping our communities going during uncertain times and those who continue to stand on the front lines working to get shots in arms. They are the heroes of this crises.”
The state is still aiming to get 70% of the population vaccinated. As that push continues, health care providers are shifting gears to reach people who are willing to get the vaccine but want it to be convenient and to quell the nerves of people who are hesitant.
To that effect, West Michigan-based Spectrum Health announced Friday that all of its urgent care facilities and primary doctor’s offices would carry the vaccines so people can get it in a place they know from a person they trust.