GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan on Wednesday announced more than 6,000 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed as the state’s surge shows no signs of slowing.
The 6,008 new cases bring Michigan’s total to 229,285 since the virus was first detected in Michigan eight months ago. Another 42 deaths related to the virus were also recorded, bringing Michigan’s total to 7,766.
Cases are surging across the state and the number of new cases per million people per day is now more than three times higher than it was during the last surge in April. West Michigan is seeing the highest rate of new cases of any region at about 606. The Upper Peninsula has the next highest figure at 601 and Southwest Michigan follows at 535.
Kent County’s total number of cases since March on Wednesday rose above 20,000 with 381 newly confirmed. It also added another death for a total of 225.
County officials announced Wednesday that three inmates at the Kent County jail had contracted the virus. Their symptoms were mild. A contracted kitchen worker also tested positive for the virus.
Several other West Michigan counties also saw more deaths:
- Berrien County: Three more deaths for 93 total; 3,628 total cases since the start of the outbreak.
- Calhoun County: One more death for 87 total; 3,820 total cases.
- Cass County: One more death for 26 total; 1,333 total cases.
- Kalamazoo County: One more death for 130 total; 5,611 total cases.
- Mecosta County: One more death for six total; 777 total cases.
- Muskegon County: Seven more deaths for 108 total; 3,983 total cases.
- St. Joseph County: One more death for 24 total; 1,664 total cases.
- Van Buren County: One more death for 21 total; 1,627 total cases.
Ravenna Public Schools announced that its middle and high school will by shifting from its flex-hybrid program to remote learning starting Thursday. The change goes through Nov. 30. Beechnau Elementary School has also made the shift. All in-person sports, activities and events will be canceled during this time period.
Wayne County, which was the state’s initial hot spot for the virus, saw one more death for a total of 2,934. It also confirmed 781 new cases for a total of 44,150 since the start of the outbreak. Oakland County has had 27,313 confirmed cases (778 more than the previous day) and 1,207 deaths (one more). Macomb County has had 23,622 cases (613 more) and 1,081 deaths (no change).
On Tuesday, labs in Michigan tested 54,942 samples for the virus and 7,558 came back positive, a rate of 13.76%. The seven-day average of that positivity percentage is now about 10.7%, the worst it has been since early May.
Statewide hospitalization numbers keep climbing, too: As of Tuesday, more than 3,000 inpatients were suspected or confirmed to have the virus. Spectrum Health officials on Wednesday said their hospitals would hit capacity “in a a matter of days.”
They called for help from the community, with President and CEO Tina Freese Decker saying, “We must change this trajectory of community spread. This is why we need our community’s help and support. We need to flatten this curve like we did last spring.”
“We are getting to the point where if we don’t have the public helping us, you’re going to see a lot more patients in the hospital, a lot more patients die and it will not be a pleasant sight,” Dr. Darryl Elmouchi, the president of Spectrum Health West, added.
Officials say you should wash your hands frequently, practice social distancing and and wear a mask in public. They also said that Thanksgiving celebrations should be among immediate family only, not extended family.