Michigan adds 3,623 cases, 109 deaths from COVID-19

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Michigan on Thursday added 3,623 new cases and 109 deaths from the coronavirus.

The latest figures bring the state's total number of cases to 837,514 and deaths to 17,576 since the virus was first detected in March 2020, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. Of the Thursday deaths, 78 were identified during a delayed records review.

The state continues to lead the nation in new cases per capita for four straight weeks despite a third of its residents being fully vaccinated. 

A sign at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing location in Lansing tells drivers to "proceed ahead." No testing appeared to be occurring at the site on Tuesday morning, April 14, 2020.

Last week Michigan added 34,013 new cases and 449 deaths, ending a run of eight consecutive weeks of rising infections. During the previous week of April 11-17, the state added 47,284 cases and 342 deaths.

The weekly record of 50,892 cases was set the week of Nov. 15-21, 2020. 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.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the "MI Vacc to Normal" plan Thursday to tie the future of COVID-19 restrictions to the percentage of residents who have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

Nearly half of the state's adults have received at least one vaccine dose. The plan includes four steps to gradually removing restrictions. The final step, two weeks after 5.7 million residents, or 70% of the adult population, receives their first dose the state will lift its gathering and face mask orders, she said.

"While the daily case count, test positivity are still not where we want them to be, we’re headed in the right direction,” Whitmer said.

Michigan's latest data

The state continues to lead the nation at 340 cases per 100,000 people – a decrease from 519 cases per 1,000 people last week – outpacing Colorado at 212 cases per 100,000 people and Minnesota at 206 cases per 100,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The percentage of COVID-19 tests bringing positive results has decreased after eight weeks of increases and is at 12.2%.

Michigan has led the nation in new infections and hospitalizations for three weeks. As of Wednesday, 3,262 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, with 843 in an intensive care unit and 547 on ventilators. 

While hospitalizations are trending downwards, they're still a 54% increase from one month ago when there were 2,144 hospitalizations. 

Southwest Michigan, the Grand Rapids area and the Upper Peninsula are experiencing the fastest growth in COVID-19 cases. Four of the state's eight regions continue to have 30% or more of ICU beds occupied by COVID-19 patients.

Those aged 10-19 and 20-29 have the highest case rates in the state, followed by 20-29, then 30-39.

From January to April, there have been 291 outbreaks from youth sports resulting in 1,217 infections, with the most clusters from basketball, hockey and wrestling.

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

During the week of April 24, Michigan led the nation in percent positivity, case rates and hospitalizations.

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

About 19% of hospital beds are filled with COVID-19 patients, a 2% decrease from last week.

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.

Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun and Whitmer endorsed monoclonal antibody treatments for patients with chronic medical conditions hospitalized with COVID-19.

About five states are seeing an increase in cases and 12 states are seeing weekly increases in hospitalizations. Michigan, Washington D.C., Maryland and New Jersey 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-highest number of cases of the variant B.1.1.7. with 5,616 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 26 cases of the variant.

The first case of the P.1 variant from Brazil was identified in a Bay County resident. There are now 66 confirmed cases of P.1.

There are also 231 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 556 cases and 157 are in Detroit. Wayne, Washtenaw, Macomb, Genesse and Clinton 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 Wednesday, the state has administered 6.7 million of 9 million doses distributed. Nearly half of the state's adults have had at least one dose of vaccine and 36% are fully vaccinated.

The state's fully vaccinated population includes 65% of all seniors 65 years and older, 43% of people aged 50 to 64, 27% of people age 40 to 49, and 24% 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.

“The MI Vacc to Normal challenge outlines steps we can take to emerge from this pandemic as we hit our vaccination targets together,” Whitmer said. “On our path to vaccinating 70% of Michiganders 16 and up, we can take steps to gradually get back to normal while keeping people safe. 

"If you haven’t already, I encourage you to rise to the challenge and be a part of the solution, so we can continue our economic recovery and have the summer we all crave.” 

In Detroit, vaccination rates lag as about 29% of residents have received one dose, according to the city's dashboard. That's compared to 54% of residents in outer-Wayne County, 57% in Oakland County, 47% in Macomb County and 58% in Washtenaw County.

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

The virus is blamed for more than 573,000 deaths and 32 million confirmed infections in the U.S.

The state is tracking 1,272 active outbreaks including 42 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, nine outbreaks were in daycare and childcare programs, 32 in manufacturing, 37 in restaurant and retail.

The state considers 626,254 people recovered from the virus as of Friday.


Twitter: @SarahRahal_