Michigan COVID-19 cases fall for eighth week in a row

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Michigan on Saturday added 198 cases and 53 deaths from the coronavirus,as weekly cases declined for the eighth consecutive week.

The figures bring Michigan's total number of cases to 892,131 and deaths to 19,540 since the virus was first detected in March 2020, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

A woman is given hand sanitizer, Monday, April 6, 2020, in the Overtown neighborhood of Miami.

This week, the state added 1,786 cases and 175 deaths from the virus. Of the deaths reported Saturday, 50 were identified during a vital records review.

Last week, Michigan added 2,626 cases and 202 deaths from the virus, a decrease from the week prior when the state added 3,778 cases and 158 deaths.

During the week of May 16-27, Michigan added 8,578 cases and 332 deaths from the virus.

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 last month tying the future of COVID-19 restrictions to the percentage of residents who have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

Last week, the state lifted outdoor capacity limits completely and raised indoor capacity limits to 50%. The state, Whitmer has said, is aiming to lift all of its mandates by July 1. 

As of Thursday, 60% 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 earlier this month, the increase in the population decreased the percentage of the population vaccinated to about 54.8%.

Whitmer has said vaccine supply is now outpacing demand but is "hopeful we'll get to 70%.

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

Michigan's latest data

Michigan is now in the nation's bottom 10 states for most rising cases at 15 cases per 100,000 — a decrease from a high of 519 cases per capita earlier in April. The Virgin Islands is leading at 108 cases per 100,000 people, outpacing Wyoming at 85 cases per 100,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Saginaw, Jackson, and Detroit are experiencing the fastest growth in COVID-19 cases.

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 May, there have been 438 outbreaks from youth sports resulting in 1,664 infections, with the most clusters from basketball, hockey and wrestling. In the past week, the largest number of new cases have been baseball, dance, track, lacrosse and volleyball.

The state has the fourth-highest inpatient bed utilization and the 10th-highest death rate in the United States, according to the CDC's COVID data tracker.

Nine states are seeing weekly increases in hospitalizations. The city of Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Florida have the highest per capita hospitalized patient numbers.

About 5.2% of hospital beds are filled with COVID-19 patients.

As of Thursday, 579 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 with 160 in an intensive care unit and 103 other patients on ventilators. That's a 86% drop from April 19 when hospitalizations peaked with 4,158 patients.

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 11,907 confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants — the majority, or 11,260 cases, being B.1.1.7.

► More: Why Michigan's variants remain dangerous despite falling COVID cases

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. There are 533 cases of the variant within the Michigan Department of Corrections after an outbreak of 90 cases at the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility in Ionia County.

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 217 confirmed cases of P.1.

There are also 302 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 24 cases in the state.

Wayne County has the largest spread of the B.1.1.7 variant with more than 1,250 cases and an additional 579 in Detroit. Wayne, Washtenaw, Macomb, Livingston and Genesee counties have six of the seven variants. Oakland and Clinton counties have 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 Thursday, the state had administered 8.6 million of 11.2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine distributed. 

The state's fully vaccinated population includes 73% of all seniors 65 years and older, 58% of people aged 50 to 64; 46% of people age 40 to 49; 41% of people age 30 to 39; 31% of people age 20 to 29; and 29% of people age 16 to 19, according to the state's data tracker.

Last week, Moderna said its COVID-19 vaccine strongly protects kids as young as 12 and aims to be next in line to distribute the vaccine to that age group. It plans to submit its teen data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other global regulators early next month.

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

In Detroit, vaccination rates lag. About 36% of residents so far 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 598,000 deaths and 33.4 million confirmed infections in the U.S.

As of Monday, the state is tracking 523 active outbreaks including eight new school outbreaks since last week at educational institutions including K-12 public and private schools.

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

The state considers 837,864 people recovered from the virus as of June 5.