Michigan adds 2,786 cases, 24 deaths from COVID-19 over 2 days

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Michigan added 2,786 cases and 24 deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, including totals from Tuesday.

The figures bring Michigan's total number of confirmed cases to 916,006 and deaths to 19,982 since the virus was first detected in March 2020, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. The state is averaging 1,393 cases per day over those two days.

Beaumont Hospital Royal Oak staff members perform curbside testing for COVID-19 and the flu for people at the North parking lot at Beaumont Hospital Royal Oak in Royal Oak, Mich. on Mar. 15, 2020.

So far this week, the state has added 5,506 cases and 32 deaths from the virus.

Last week, the state has added 6,567 cases and 30 deaths from the virus, marking the fifth straight increase in weekly case totals.

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 lifted the state's remaining COVID-19 restrictions on June 22 after earlier rolling back many others, including indoor and outdoor capacity limitations.

The United States this week reached President Joe Biden's goal of having 70% of adults with at least one vaccine dose — a month later than hoped. Through Tuesday, nearly 64% of Michigan residents 16 and older had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. About 54.5% of Michigan residents 12 years and older are fully vaccinated.

Last month, Whitmer unveiled a $5 million initiative offering college scholarships and cash prizes to Michigan residents who have gotten their COVID-19 vaccine, saying the program will save and change lives.

Nearly half of Michigan residents live in counties where the federal government is urging the fully vaccinated to wear masks in public indoor settings because transmission of the coronavirus is “high” or “substantial.”

Michigan's latest data

Michigan has the ninth-lowest case rate and sixth-lowest death rate over the last week in the United States, according to the CDC's COVID data tracker.

Statewide positivity has increased to 7% and has been increasing for the last five weeks — up from 5.8% last week.

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

Those ages 30-39 have the highest case rates in the state, followed by 10-19, then 20-29. Case rates for all age groups are no longer decreasing and have entered a low incidence plateau after bottoming out on June 26.

The number of active outbreaks is up 48% from last week with 60 new outbreaks identified mostly from nursing and long-term care facilities.

About 2.9% of hospital beds are filled with COVID-19 patients. Hospitalizations have increased 52% since last week.

As of Wednesday, 755 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, with 169 in an intensive care unit and 67 other patients on ventilators.

The majority of patients hospitalized from the virus are unvaccinated, the state health department says.

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 14,412 confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants — the majority, or 13,648 cases, being B.1.1.7 or now known as the "Alpha" variant.

The first case of the Alpha 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 85 cases of the variant.

The first case of the P.1. variant from Brazil was identified in a Bay County resident. There are now 328 confirmed cases of P.1.

There are also 307 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 "delta variant" was initially detected in India in October. There are now 233 cases in the state. Delta cases have doubled in the last four weeks.

Since the delta variant accounts for 83% of new COVID-19 cases in the country, all residents should consider wearing a mask in closed spaces, said Dr. Joel Fishbain, director of infection prevention and epidemiology for Beaumont Grosse Pointe.

"There's the chance that ignoring the continued outbreak of the delta variant could result in the next variant, and the next variant could be able to escape natural immunity or vaccination. That's my fear," Fishbain said. "South Korea picked up two delta variants that have a new mutation. It's probably a good idea to put a mask on until we know if the vaccine prevents transmission."

Vaccines administered 

As of Tuesday, the state had administered 9.8 million of 12 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine distributed. About 4.9 million people in the state are fully vaccinated.

The state's fully vaccinated population includes 75% of all seniors 65 and older, 63% of people aged 50 to 64; 51% of people age 40 to 49; 46% of people age 30 to 39; 37% of people age 20 to 29; 36% of people age 16 to 19 and 16% of people age 12 to 15.

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

In Detroit, vaccination rates lag. About 40% of residents so far have received one dose, according to the city's COVID-19 dashboard. That's compared with 65% in outer-Wayne County, 57% in Macomb County and 68% in Oakland County and 67% in Washtenaw County.

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 618,000 deaths and 36.2 million confirmed infections in the U.S.

The state considered 874,163 people recovered from the virus as of Monday.

srahal@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @SarahRahal_