Michigan adds 1,932 cases, 103 deaths from COVID-19

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Michigan on Saturday added 1,932 new cases of the coronavirus and 103 deaths linked to COVID-19.

The latest figures bring the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Michigan to 535,534 and deaths to 13,804 since the virus was first detected in March, according to tracking by the state Department of Health and Human Services. Of the Saturday deaths, 90 were identified during a delayed records review.

Freezers at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids will keep doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at the desired temperature.

The state recorded 430 deaths this week, a decrease from 756 deaths from the virus last week. The weekly record of 808 deaths was recorded in mid-December.

The state also recorded 16,425 new cases this week, another decline from 21,455 new cases last week. At the end of November, the state established the weekly record of 50,892 cases.

The state has opened up vaccination opportunities to all Michigan residents over the age of 65 and to front-line workers and teachers, but many health departments and hospitals say they do not have enough vaccine to meet the demand.

More: Some Michigan hospital systems running short of COVID-19 vaccine, curtailing appointments

The current phase will allow for the 65 and older age group to receive a vaccine as well as front-line workers such as first responders, some state and federal workers and jail and prison staff. Pre-K through 12th-grade teachers and childcare providers also will be eligible for vaccinations. 

Vaccines continue to be distributed to health care workers and nursing home residents. Supplies are limited and are running out within seven days of Michigan receiving them, and "that is a good thing," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said.

"Please be patient, we do not have enough vaccines and it takes time to administer, but we are building quickly and it looks like we’re going to be coming into more vaccines soon,” Whitmer said Wednesday. “This is the greatest tool we have to end this pandemic.”

Whitmer's administration also announced it is "working plan" is to begin allowing indoor dining at restaurants and bars on Feb. 1.

The plan will include capacity limits and a curfew, and the "ultimate decision depends on COVID-19 data continuing to stabilize," according to a press release from Robert Gordon, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called on the Republican-controlled Legislature to approve a requirement that people wear masks during indoor and outdoor gatherings as COVID-19 infections surge in the state.

The latest data

During the week of Jan. 9, Michigan dropped from the 20th-highest number of cases in the nation to the 24th-highest. The state continues to rank eighth-highest for the number of deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control's COVID data tracker.

Michigan ranks 33th in the nation for most hospitalizations and 14th for most patients in intensive care units, according to Becker's Hospital Review.

In Michigan, 12.1% of hospital beds are occupied by coronavirus patients, health officials said.

As of Friday, 2,200 adults were hospitalized statewide with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, including 493 in critical care and 256 on ventilators, with ICU beds at 74% capacity, according to state data.

While Nevada, Alabama, Nevada, California, and Georgia have the highest rates of hospitalizations, the Midwest states including Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Michigan are showing a slow continuous decline or stability, according to the state's data.

Approximately 9.1% of the state's tests are returning positive, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state's chief medical executive, said Wednesday.  A positivity rate above 3% is concerning to public health officials.

"We are in a much better place than we were in the beginning of November," Khaldun said. "We are in a much better space than most other states, however, while we have not identified the new, more easily transmitted version of the virus, that new strain is present in several other states. And it may be present in Michigan, we just have not identified it yet."

Active cases remain most prevalent in Wayne County, with 62,000 cases and additional 27,268 cases in Detroit. Oakland County has 66,226 cases, and Macomb has 52,792.

The state's case tracker also noted Genesse, Ingham, Kalamazoo, Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa and Washtenaw counties have high case rates.

Vaccines rolled out in phases

Coronavirus virus testing at the North entrance of Beaumont hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan on March 31, 2020.

The vaccines will be rolled out in phases. The first priorities for vaccination in Michigan will be frontline healthcare workers and people living and working in long-term care facilities.

Khaldun said the process will take several months to complete at the current rate, but the general public should prepare to receive the vaccine by late spring.

► More: What to know about getting vaccinated for COVID-19 in Michigan

“We are working hard to bring more vaccines into Michigan and identify additional locations for people who want to be vaccinated. Please don’t show up to any location without an appointment," she said.

According to the CDC’s vaccine tracker, 773,750 does have distributed to Michigan and 364,182 does have been administered as of Friday.

The virus is blamed for more than 391,000 deaths and 23 million confirmed infections in the United States.

Officials are tracking at least 887 active outbreaks as of Monday, a decline from 1,040 outbreaks two weeks prior. Of the outbreaks, 142 were reported the first week of January, including 47 at long-term care facilities.

Top categories for outbreaks continue to be manufacturing and construction sites, healthcare, retail, schools and social gatherings.

The state recorded three additional school outbreaks Monday, adding to a list of 72 school outbreaks.

The state considers 415,079 people recovered from the virus as of Friday.


Twitter: @SarahRahal_