Michigan surpasses 700,000 cases of COVID-19

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Michigan surpassed 700,000 cases of the coronavirus Monday as the state continues to lead the nation in new cases by population.

Michigan added 10,293 new cases and 21 deaths on Monday, including cases from Sunday.

The latest figures bring the state's total number of cases to 702,499 and deaths to 16,239 since the virus was first detected in March 2020, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Barry Feldman, left, uses a nasal swab to test Jessica Barnett, of Farmington Hills, for COVID-19 at drive up clinic in Farmington Hills Dec. 21, 2020.

Hospitalizations for confirmed cases of COVID-19 are now increasing at a faster rate than before Gov. Gretchen Whitmer shuttered indoor dining and suspended in-person high school classes in the fall.

The state is leading at 452.5 cases per 100,000 people, surpassing New Jersey at 351.9 cases per 100,000 people and New York City at 325.8 cases per 100,000 people, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Wednesday, Whitmer said she is increasing the state's goal from 50,000 shots administered per day to 100,000 shots per day. 

Last week, the state recorded 39,637 new cases and 192 deaths, the sixth weekly increase in a row. It's a jump from the last week of March when the state recorded 27,758 new cases and 129 deaths. 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.

Currently, all Michigan residents age 16 and older are eligible to be vaccinated. However, Pfizer is the only vaccine authorized for kids ages 16 and 17.

Michigan's latest data

The percentage of COVID-19 tests bringing positive results has been rising for six weeks and is at 15% for a seven-day average. On Saturday, the state reported a rate of 17.6% for tests that came in Friday, the highest since April 2020.

Cases among kids ages 10 to 19 have risen for the last five 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. "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 the state will get the cases under control by vaccinating residents 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.

During the week of March 27, Michigan jumped from having the sixth-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 CDC's COVID data tracker.

As of Friday, the state reported 2,766 adults were hospitalized with the coronavirus, a 60% jump from a week earlier when there were 1,729 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%.

A sign points to a COVID-19 testing site at a Sparrow Health System facility in Lansing on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.

About 26 states are seeing an increase in cases and 17 states are seeing weekly increases in hospitalizations. New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C., 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 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 12,505 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.

Vaccines rolled out in phases

As of Thursday, the state has administered 4.5 million of 5 million doses distributed. About 35% of the state's residents have had at least one dose of vaccine and 21.6% of people are fully vaccinated.

The state's fully vaccinated population includes more than half of all seniors 65 years and older, 18% 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 555,000 deaths and 30 million confirmed infections in the U.S.

The number of active outbreaks is up 26% from the previous week. The state had 84 new school outbreaks since last week at education institutions including K-12 public and private schools, colleges and school administrative buildings.

Another 35 outbreaks were in long-term care facilities, 29 outbreaks were in daycare and childcare programs, 43 in manufacturing and 27 in retail.

The state considers 577,141 people recovered from the virus as of Friday.


Twitter: @SarahRahal_