Michigan adds 4,698 cases, 121 deaths from COVID-19, ends run of weekly infection increases

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Correction: The daily case and death tallies were incorrect in the headlines of an earlier version.

Michigan on Saturday added 4,698 new cases and 121 deaths from the coronavirus, ending a run of eight consecutive weeks of rising infections.

But the state continues to lead the nation in new cases per capita despite a third of its residents being fully vaccinated. 

The latest figures bring the state's total number of cases to 819,320 and deaths to 17,289 since the virus was first detected in March 2020, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. 

LPN Barbara Coleman-Nunga, left, gives a COVID-19 vaccination to a man who wishes not to be identified, in the gymnasium at the Ford Wellness Center on the Samaritan Center campus on Conner near E. Warren Ave. on the eastside of Detroit, Thursday, April 22, 2021.

Ninety-one of the deaths reported Saturday were identified during a vital records review.

This week Michigan added 34,013 new cases and 449 deaths.

Last week, the state added 47,284 cases and 342 deaths, an increase from 45,817 cases and 282 deaths the week of April 4-10.

The weekly record of 50,892 cases was set the week of Nov. 15-21. The second highest weekly total was 47,316 the week of Nov. 22-28.

The weekly record of 808 deaths was recorded in mid-December.

The state's 519 cases per 100,000 people is easily outpacing New Jersey at 292 cases per 100,000 people and Delaware at 269 cases per 100,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Michigan's latest data

The percentage of COVID-19 tests bringing positive results has decreased after eight weeks of increases and is at 16.4%.

Michigan has led the nation in new infections and hospitalizations for two weeks. As of Friday, 3,652 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, with 896 in an intensive care unit and 530 on ventilators. 

While Friday's hospitalizations are down 12% since Monday, they're still a 120% increase from one month ago when there were 1,659 hospitalizations. 

Southwest Michigan, the Grand Rapids area and the Upper Peninsula are experiencing the fastest growth in COVID-19 cases.

Those aged 10-19 and 20-29 have the highest case rates in the state.

From January to March, there have been 291 outbreaks from youth sports resulting in at least 1,091 infections, Khaldun said.

► More: Rare COVID-19 complication is putting kids in Michigan's ICUs

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky has said the answer to Michigan's "acute situation" with COVID-19 is not to surge additional doses of vaccine into Michigan, as Whitmer has requested, but rather to shut down the state and "flatten the curve."

During the week of April 17, Michigan led the nation in percent positivity, case rates and hospitalizations, which have been increasing for five consecutive weeks.

Deaths have increased 25% since last week. The state also has the eighth-highest death rate in the U.S., according to the CDC's COVID data tracker.

Michigan's largest hospitals issued urgent warnings last week saying they are nearing capacity.

"I worked in the ICU this week and I will tell you it’s exhausting. Many of them are younger than what we have seen," Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said. "Patients are again lining our hospital hallways like they were last spring."

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer prepares to receive a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Ford Field on April 6, 2021 in Detroit during an event to promote and encourage Michigan residents to get vaccinated.

Khaldun and Whitmer endorsed monoclonal antibody treatments for patients with chronic medical conditions hospitalized with COVID-19.

About 13 states are seeing an increase in cases and 10 states are seeing weekly increases in hospitalizations. Michigan, Washington D.C., New York, New Jersey 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 Wednesday, Michigan has the second-highest number of cases of the variant B.1.1.7. with 4,728 cases in 80 jurisdictions.

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. There are 517 cases of the variant within MDOC.

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 22 cases of the variant in 10 Michigan jurisdictions.

The first case of the P.1 variant from Brazil was identified in a Bay County resident. There are now 47 confirmed cases of P.1. in 10 Michigan jurisdictions.

There are also 205 confirmed cases of B.1.427 and B.1.429, two variants formed in California. 

Wayne County has the largest spread of the B.1.1.7 variant more than 530 cases and 149 are in Detroit. Wayne and Washtenaw counties have all reported variants. 

Vaccines available for all 16+

Registered nurse Carrie Cooper administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to Bill Cavers, of Farmington, at a drive-through COVID-19 vaccination site inside fire station number one in West Bloomfield on  April 5, 2021.

As of Thursday, the state has administered 6.2 million of 8.3 million doses distributed. About 46.7% of the state's residents have had at least one dose of vaccine and 33% are fully vaccinated.

The state's fully vaccinated population includes 60% of all seniors 65 years and older, 39% of people aged 50 to 64, 23% of people age 40 to 49, and 20% of people age 30 to 39, according to the state's data tracker.

The state ranks ninth in the nation for the number of people who are fully vaccinated.

► For subscribers: As Michigan sees dip in COVID shots, incentive offers pop up

In Detroit, vaccination rates lag behind as 28.6% of residents have received one dose, according to the city's dashboard. That's compared to 51% of outer-Wayne County, 54.3% in Oakland County, 45% of Macomb County and 55% of Washtenaw County.

To ramp up vaccinations the Detroit is offering walk-up vaccination clinics at the TCF Center, Farewell Recreational Center, Northwest Activities Center, and the Samaritan Center. No appointment is needed.

The virus is blamed for more than 570,000 deaths and 31 million confirmed infections in the U.S.

The state is tracking 1,261 active outbreaks including 43 new school outbreaks since last week at education institutions including K-12 public and private schools.

Another 29 outbreaks were in long-term care facilities, 21 outbreaks were in daycare and childcare programs, 47 in manufacturing, 62 in restaurant and retail.

The state considers 603,094 people recovered from the virus as of Friday.


Twitter: @SarahRahal_