Michigan adds 6,036 cases, 49 deaths from COVID-19
Michigan on Thursday added 6,036 new COVID-19 cases, and 49 deaths as the state is leading the nation in most infections by population for the last seven days.
Thursday was the second day in a row new daily cases exceeded 6,000.
The latest figures bring the state's total number of cases to 678,295 and deaths to 16,141 since the virus was first detected in March 2020, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.
The number of Michigan residents in hospitals with confirmed cases of COVID-19 is now increasing at a faster rate than it did in the fall before Gov. Gretchen Whitmer shuttered indoor dining and suspended in-person high school classes.
On Wednesday morning, Whitmer said she is increasing the state's goal from 50,000 shots administered per day to 100,000 shots per day. She did not directly address whether additional restrictions were being considered, saying only on CNN that there is a "push and pull" with any restrictions.
Last week, the state recorded 27,758 new cases and 129 deaths, the fifth weekly increase in a row and the highest weekly total since 28,072 were recorded Dec. 13-19. At the end of November, the state established the weekly record of 50,892 cases. The weekly record of 808 deaths was recorded in mid-December.
Vaccine eligibility currently includes all residents age 50 years and older and people age 16 to 49 with certain medical conditions or disabilities. Detroit opened eligibility Monday to all residents and workers who have to work on-site in the city rather than remotely.
All Michigan residents age 16 and older will become eligible on Monday, the state said Friday.
Michigan's latest data
The percentage of COVID-19 tests bringing positive results has been rising for five weeks and is at 15%.
Cases among kids ages 10 to 19 have risen 133% in the last four weeks, faster than any other age group as outbreaks continue to rise in schools and youth sports.
"Our progress with COVID-19 is fragile," Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said last week. "While we're making great progress with vaccination efforts, what we are seeing now is very concerning data that shows we are going in the wrong direction."
Whitmer said getting people vaccinated is how the state will get the cases under control and "we will be able to celebrate our Independence Day together this year."
Whitmer's administration is allowing crowds of up to 20% of capacity limits at outdoor stadiums and is imposing new testing requirements for youth sports.
One region, the Upper Peninsula, is below 3% and all of the state's 83 counties have a positivity rate below 10%, according to the state.
During the week of March 27, Michigan jumped from having the6th highest number of cases in the nation to the highest.
Deaths have increased 24% since March 9. The state also has the 15th highest death rate, according to the Centers for Disease Control's COVID data tracker.
On Monday Henry Ford Health Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Adnan Munkarah said there has been a substantial spike in COVID-19 admissions, up 236% since March 3, and the positivity rate among patients is 16%.
As of Tuesday, the state reported 2,424 adults were hospitalized with the coronavirus, an 87% jump from a week earlier when there were 1,294 hospitalizations. Over the four weeks before Whitmer announced the "Pause to Save Lives" on Nov. 15, the largest percentage increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations over a week from Monday to Monday was 45%.
About 26 states are seeing an increase in cases and 17 states are seeing weekly increases in hospitalizations. New York, New Jersey, Washington DC, Michigan and Maryland have the highest per capita hospitalized patient numbers.
State health department officials remain cautious as new variants of COVID-19 spread. The variants are identified through target testing and state officials expect there are cases of variants that have not been identified or recorded.
As of Thursday, Michigan has the second-most recorded cases of the virus variant B.1.1.7. with 1,468 cases in 51 jurisdictions including 474 cases within the Michigan Department of Corrections. Florida has the most, with 2,351 cases. Nationally, there are 11,569 cases of the variant.
The first case of the variant was identified in January in a University of Michigan student who had traveled from the United Kingdom. The variant has spread significantly in Washtenaw and Wayne counties. An outbreak of 90 cases at Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility in Ionia County appears to be the largest cluster of the variant and has spread to two other Michigan prisons, corrections officials said.
The first case of the South African variant B.1.351 was confirmed by the state Bureau of Laboratories in a boy living in Jackson County.There are a total of seven cases of the variant in six Michigan jurisdictions as of Thursday.
The first case of the P.1 variant from Brazil was identified Wednesday in a Bay County resident.
"We know the variant is spreading in the community," Khaldun said. "I’m concerned about our current numbers. It’s imperative that we protect each other by wearing masks, social distancing... We could potentially be at the beginning of another surge in Michigan."
Vaccines rolled out in phases
As of Wednesday, the state has administered 4.3 million of nearly 5 million doses distributed. Nearly 34% of the state has at least one vaccine dose and 20% of people are fully vaccinated.
The state's fully vaccinated population includes more than half of all seniors 65 years and older, 16% of people aged 50 to 64 years, 14% of people age 40 to 49, and 12% of people age 30 to 39, according to the state's data tracker.
The virus is blamed for more than 550,000 deaths and 30 million confirmed infections in the U.S.
The number of active outbreaks is up 14% from the previous week. The state had 70 new school outbreaks since last week at education institutions including K-12 public and private schools, colleges and school administrative buildings.
"This is concerning. Outbreaks in this age group can have an impact on our children's education," Khaldun said. "The most important thing we all want is to have in-person learning."
Another 25 outbreaks were in daycare and childcare programs, 30 in manufacturing and 10 in office settings.
The state considers 569,460 people recovered from the virus as of Friday.