Michigan adds 4,197 COVID-19 cases, 37 deaths over two days

The Detroit News

Michigan added 4,197 cases and 37 deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, including totals from Thursday.

The latest figures bring Michigan's total number of confirmed cases to 929,574 and deaths to 20,113 since the virus was first detected in March 2020, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. The state averaged more than 2,098 cases per day over the two days, state records show. 

Of the deaths reported Friday, 13 were identified during a vital records review. 

So far this week, the state has added 10,441 cases and 102 deaths from the virus.

Rosemary Rangi, RN., waits for people needing a covid-19 shot during community outreach efforts to increase the number of Michigan residents getting vaccinated at the New Birth International Church in Pontiac on Friday, July 30, 2021.

Last week, the state has added 8,633 cases and 61 deaths from the virus, marking the sixth straight increase in weekly case totals. The previous week, the state has added 6,567 cases and 30 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.

Michigan 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, 64.8% of Michigan residents 16 and older had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. About 55% 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.”

The CDC also approved a third booster shot for patients who are immunocompromised. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced Monday the city will reopen the city's largest drive-thru vaccination site this week offering third shots of Pfizer and Moderna.

Michigan's latest data

Michigan has the ninth-lowest case rate and sixth-lowest death rate over the last week in the U.S., 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 Monday, 820 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, with 195 in an intensive care unit and 84 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 Aug. 10, 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 Aug. 13, 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 41.4% of residents so far have received one dose, according to the city's COVID-19 dashboard. That's compared with 66% in outer-Wayne County, 58% in Macomb County and 69% in Oakland County and 68% in Washtenaw County.

To ramp up vaccinations Detroit is offering $50 "good neighbor" incentives and walk-up vaccination clinics at the TCF Center, Farewell Recreational Center, Northwest Activities Center and the Samaritan Center.

The virus is blamed for more than 621,000 deaths and 36.7 million confirmed infections in the United States.

The state considered 875,719 people recovered from the virus as of Aug 13.