Michigan adds 2,031 cases, 40 deaths from COVID-19
Michigan on Wednesday added 2,031 new cases of the coronavirus and 40 deaths linked to COVID-19.
The latest figures bring the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Michigan to 542,146 and deaths to 13,905 since the virus was first detected in March, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.
Data on hospitalizations, testing and new cases all trended in hopeful directions last week as the state appears to be moving past a second wave that hit in late November. The percentage of COVID-19 tests bringing positive results dropped to 6.7%, down from 8.9% the week before.
The state also recorded 16,452 new cases last week, a decline from 21,955 new cases the week prior. At the end of November, the state established the weekly record of 50,892 cases.
The current phase allows 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, but many health departments and hospitals say they do not have enough vaccine to meet the demand. Pre-K through 12th-grade teachers and childcare providers also are 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.
The state received requests for 444,306 doses of the vaccine, but only received an allocation of 258,100 doses this week from the federal government to allocate; 117,850 first doses and 140,250-second doses, said Lynn Sutfin, spokeswoman for the state health department on Tuesday.
Whitmer's administration also announced its "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.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services identified the state's first case of the new COVID-19 variant, B.1.1.7., on Saturday in an adult woman living in Washtenaw County.
The woman recently traveled to the United Kingdom, where the variant originated, according to an announcement from the department. The person's close contacts have been informed and are in quarantine.
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 Tuesday, the state reported 2,028 adults hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, down 40% from the total five weeks earlier. Of the patients, 413 in critical care and 228 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.
Active cases remain most prevalent in Wayne County, with 63,577 cases and additional 27,787 cases in Detroit. Oakland County has 67,987 cases, and Macomb has 53,878.
The state's case tracker also noted Genesse, Ingham, Kalamazoo, Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa, Saginaw and Washtenaw counties have high case rates.
Vaccines rolled out in phases
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.
Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state's chief medical executive, 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.
“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.
The virus is blamed for more than 401,000 deaths and 24 million confirmed infections in the United States.
Officials are tracking at least 774 active outbreaks as of Thursday, a decline from 887 outbreaks last week. Of the outbreaks, 128 were reported the second week of January, including 37 at long-term care facilities.
Top categories for outbreaks continue to be manufacturing and construction sites, healthcare, retail, schools and social gatherings.
The state reported nine additional school outbreaks on Monday, adding to a list of 67 school outbreaks.
The state considers 442,408 people recovered from the virus as of Friday.