Michigan surpasses 19,000 deaths from COVID-19

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Michigan surpassed 19,000 deaths from COVID-19 as 58% of the state's adult population has received at least one vaccine dose.

The state on Tuesday added 739 cases and 66 deaths from the coronavirus.

The latest figures bring Michigan's total number of cases to 885,319 and deaths to 19,019 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.

Cases and testing positivity in the state have declined for the last six weeks. Statewide positivity has decreased to 8.5%.

Last week, Michigan added 8,578 cases and 332 deaths from the virus, a decrease from May 9-13 when the state added 11,991 new cases and 402 deaths from the virus, During the first week of May, the state added 18,248 new cases and 464 deaths from COVID-19.

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.

Whitmer announced last week outdoor capacity limits will lift completely and indoor capacity limits will rise to 50% on June 1. The state, she added, is aiming to lift all of its mandates by July 1. 

As of Monday, 58% of Michigan residents over age 16 had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

As children ages 12-15 in the state became eligible for the Pfizer vaccine last week, the increase in the population decreased the vaccinated percentage in population to about 52.5%.

Whitmer has said vaccine supply is now outpacing demand.

"I'm hopeful that we'll get to 70%," Whitmer said Thursday. "When more people are vaccinated, it's for the better everyone because as the virus continues to spread, it can mutate and at some point, maybe there will be a mutation our vaccines aren't as good against."

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

Michigan's latest data

Michigan now ranks third in the nation at 101 cases per 100,000 — a decrease from a high of 519 cases per capita earlier in April. Delaware is leading at 144 cases per 100,000 people, outpacing Colorado at 102 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 highest inpatient bed utilization and the highest death rate in the United States, according to the CDC's COVID data tracker.

Three states are seeing weekly increases in hospitalizations. Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, West Virgina 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 Monday, 1,332 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 with 393 in an intensive care unit and 242 others on ventilators. That's a 67% drop from April 19 when hospitalizations peaked with 4,158 patients.

About 18 hospitals in Michigan were at 90% or more capacity, as of Monday. Ascension Standish 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 Monday, Michigan has 11,039 confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants — the majority, or 10,460 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 533 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 67 cases of the variant.

The first case of the P.1 variant from Brazil was identified in a Bay County resident. There are now 200 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 998 cases and an additional 472 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 had administered 8 million of the 10.7 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine distributed. 

The state's fully vaccinated population includes 70% of all seniors 65 years and older, 54% of people aged 50 to 64, 41% of people age 40 to 49, 37% of people age 30 to 39, 27% of people age 20 to 29, 23% of people age 16 to 19, according to the state's data tracker.

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

Less than 1% of people who are fully vaccinated test positive, according to the state's metrics.

In Detroit, vaccination rates lag. About 35% of residents so far have received one dose, according to the city's COVID-19 dashboard. That's compared to 61% in outer-Wayne County, 54% in Macomb County and 65% 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 589,000 deaths and 33 million confirmed infections in the U.S.

As of May 13, 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 791,206 people recovered from the virus as of Friday.