Michigan adds nearly 4,500 coronavirus cases


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan has confirmed 4,486 new cases of coronavirus.

The Saturday update from state health officials brought Michigan’s cases total to 430,780 since the virus was first detected in the state in March.

The state also recorded 206 more deaths linked to COVID-19, bringing the total to 10,662. Officials say 176 of the deaths were identified during its review of vital records.

On Friday, labs in Michigan tested 56,552 samples for the virus and 5,641 were positive, a rate of 9.97%.

The state says 236,369 people are recovered from the virus, meaning they are still alive a month after developing symptoms.

In Wayne County, where the virus has hit hardest, there were 26 more recorded deaths for a total of 3,229. The county also confirmed 705 more cases of the virus for 70,985 since March. Neighboring Oakland County has had 48,179 total cases (425 more than the previous day) and 1,414 deaths (12 more). Macomb County has had 42,764 total cases (391 more) and 1,358 deaths (25 more).

Several counties in West Michigan recorded additional deaths:

  • Barry County: Three more deaths for a total of 22; 2,465 total confirmed cases since the start of the outbreak.
  • Berrien County: Six more deaths for 138 total; 7,707 total.
  • Calhoun County: Two more deaths for 141 total; 6,239 total cases.
  • Cass County: One more death for 36 total; 2,500 total cases.
  • Ionia County: Two more deaths for 35 total; 2,916 total cases.
  • Montcalm County: Two more deaths for 40 total; 2,437 total cases.
  • Muskegon County: Seven more deaths for 215 total; 8,382 total cases.
  • Newaygo County: One more death for 26 total; 1,935 total cases.
  • Ottawa County: Five more deaths for 192 total; 15,598 total cases.
  • Van Buren County: Four more deaths for 61 total; 3,402 total cases.

Kent County confirmed 287 more cases for a total of 37,028 since the start of the outbreak. The number of deaths increased by 10 for a total of 434.

Michigan is still seeing high case numbers, positive test rates, hospitalizations and deaths each day, though recent trends have been encouraging, with slight downward trends or plateaus in all of those metrics.

And on Friday evening, the news the nation had been waiting for: The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The state, which expects to get 84,000 doses of the vaccine in its first shipment, will give the first shots to health care workers and those living in nursing homes. Those groups are Phase 1A of a four-phase plan to distribute the vaccine based on who is at highest risk of contracting the disease and dying from it.

Hospitals told News 8 before the federal approval that they expected to get shipments of doses as early as this weekend and they already had plans in place to start distributing them to workers.

At Spectrum Health, one of the first to get it will likely be Dr. Russell Lampen, an infectious disease specialist.

“I certainly will be getting in line as soon as possible,” he told News 8 Thursday. “I think the benefits of being vaccinated far outweigh any concerns. I would far rather have a sore arm and feel a little achy for a day than to risk contracting COVID and also to risk spreading COVID in my community.”

Public health officials remind people that even though the end is in sight, they should continue to wash their hands frequently, practice social distancing and wear masks for some time yet, as it will be months before everyone is vaccinated.

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