Michigan adds 1,560 cases, 31 deaths from COVID-19

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Michigan on Wednesday added 1,560 coronavirus cases and 31 deaths from COVID-19.

The latest figures bring Michigan's total number of cases to 879,685 and deaths to 18,741 since the virus was first detected in March 2020, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Motorists wait for test results at the CVS drive-thru COVID-19 rapid testing site at 16301 Michigan Ave. in Dearborn on April 24, 2020.

Last week, the state added 11,991 new cases and 402 deaths from the virus, a decrease from the previous week of May 2-8, when the state added 18,248 new cases and 464 deaths from the virus.

During the week of April 25 through May 1, the state added 25,065 cases and 454 deaths.

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

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

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

As of Monday, 56.5% of the state's residents over age 16 had received at least one dose of the vaccine. The state is initiating the first phase of Whitmer’s plan which includes four steps to gradually remove restrictions, beginning May 24.

The final step, two weeks after 5.7 million residents, or 70% of the adult population receive their first dose, the state will lift its gathering and face mask orders, she said.

As children ages 12-15 in the state became eligible for the Pfizer vaccine on Wednesday, the increase in the population decreased the vaccinated percentage in population to about 51%.

Whitmer's administration is expected to announce plans to relax additional COVID-19 restrictions this week as the state's metrics for tracking the spread of the virus continue to improve.

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

Michigan's latest data

Michigan has dropped from leading the nation in new cases last week to being ranked 10th at 95 cases per 100,000 — a decrease from a high of 519 cases per capita earlier in April. Colorado is leading at 142 cases per 100,000 people, outpacing Alabama at 134 cases per 100,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Southwest Michigan, the Grand Rapids area, Kalamazoo, Saginaw and Lansing are experiencing the fastest growth in COVID-19 cases. Saginaw, Traverse City and Grand Rapids all have an infection rate above 10%.

Those ages 10-19 have the highest case rates in the state, followed by 20-29, then 30-39. Since April, case rates have decreased more than 50% for those between the ages of 50 and 79.

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. There were also 311 new outbreaks last week in K-12 schools.

The state has the fifth-highest death rate in the United States, according to the CDC's COVID data tracker.

No states saw an increase in cases and six states are seeing weekly increases in hospitalizations. Michigan, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Florida and the city of Washington, D.C. have the highest per-capita hospitalized patient numbers.

Registered nurse Krysten Grabiel prepares to go into a patient’s room on 9 West at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Mich. on April 21, 2021. 9 West, a floor dedicated to COVID-19 patients, is facing its third COVID-19 surge since the pandemic began.

About 13% of hospital beds are filled with COVID-19 patients.

As of Tuesday, 1,641 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 with 476 in an intensive care unit and 314 others were on ventilators. That's a 60% drop from April 19 when hospitalizations peaked with 4,158 patients.

About 15 hospitals in Michigan are at 90% or more capacity, as of Monday. Ascension St. Joseph Hospital and Mercy Health Campus are at full capacity, according to the Michigan Health & Hospital Association.

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 Tuesday, Michigan has nearly 10,800 confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants — the majority, or 10,190 cases, being B.1.1.7.

The first case of the B.1.1.7 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 519 cases of the variant within the Michigan Department of Corrections.

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 65 cases of the variant.

The first case of the P.1 variant from Brazil was identified in a Bay County resident. There are now 194 confirmed cases of P.1.

There are also 292 confirmed cases of B.1.427 and B.1.429, two variants formed in California.

The first case of B.1.617 was identified in Clinton County in May. The variant was initially detected in India in October. There are now 13 cases in the state.

Wayne County has the largest spread of the B.1.1.7 variant with more than 997 cases and an additional 468 in Detroit. Wayne, Washtenaw, Macomb and Genesee counties have five of the six variants. Clinton County has all the reported variants. 

Vaccines available for all 12-plus

Fourteen-year-old Koby Rauner gets his vaccination for COVID-19 from nurse Ashly Hofbauer as his parents, Sarah and Adam, watch at the Beaumont Service Center in Southfield, Thursday, May 13, 2021.

As of Monday, the state has administered 7.8 million of the 10.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine distributed. 

The state's fully vaccinated population includes 70% of all seniors 65 years and older, 52% of people aged 50 to 64, 38% of people age 40 to 49, 36% of people age 30 to 39 and 25% of people age 20 to 29, according to the state's data tracker.

The vaccine was cleared for use in children age 12 to 15 in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration May 10 before it gained CDC approval last week.

The state ranks eighth 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 34.5% of residents have received one dose, according to the city's COVID-19 dashboard. That's compared to 60% in outer-Wayne County, 53% in Macomb County and 64% in Oakland and Washtenaw counties.

To ramp up vaccinations 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.

The virus is blamed for more than 587,000 deaths and 33 million confirmed infections in the U.S.

As of Monday, the state is tracking 1,186 active outbreaks including 56 new school outbreaks since last week at educational institutions including K-12 public and private schools.

Another 23 outbreaks were in long-term care facilities, seven outbreaks were in day care and child care programs, six in manufacturing and six in retail.

The state considers 755,119 people recovered from the virus as of Friday.