Michigan adds 4,494 cases, 59 deaths from COVID-19 over two days
Correction: The number of deaths reported Wednesday and the total number of deaths since March 2020 have been updated in this story because the state health department revised those numbers after this story was originally published.
Michigan added 4,494 COVID-19 cases and 59 deaths from the virus on Wednesday, including totals from Tuesday.
Amid concerns over the more contagious delta variant, the latest tallies from the state Department of Health and Human Services push the overall totals to 951,192 cases and 20,316 deaths since the virus was first detected in the state in March 2020.
The average number of new confirmed cases is 2,247 per day over the two days. Of the deaths announced Wednesday, 36 were identified during a vital records review, the state health department said.
Michigan's COVID-19 infection numbers have been trending upward for a month.
So far this week, the state has added 9,514 cases and 116 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.
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.
Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, which health experts hope will bolster confidence in vaccinations. About 65% of Michigan's population age 16 and older had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Friday.
State officials have set a goal of reaching 70% and concluded a lottery initiative last week that gave those who received their vaccinations the chance to win cash prizes.
About 55.3%, or 4.9 million, of Michigan residents 12 years and older are fully vaccinated.
All Michigan residents should be wearing masks while in public under federal guidelines, the CDC suggests.
"Michigan cases are growing at similar rates to states with delta surges," the state health department noted in their data update. "delta wave in Michigan could lead to even more pediatric COVID hospitalizations this fall than we experienced last spring."
In the last 30 days, people who are not fully vaccinated developed COVID-19 at a rate seven times higher than those who are fully vaccinated, "and experienced COVID deaths at a rate 30 times that of fully vaccinated people. Vaccine protection against hospitalization remains strong across different studies and settings," the department says.
The state health department estimates less than 1% of vaccinated people in Michigan are contracting the virus.
Michigan's latest data
Michigan has the eigth-lowest case rate and 16th-lowest death rate over the last week in the U.S., according to the CDC's COVID data tracker.
Statewide positivity has increased to 8.6% and has been increasing for the last two months — up from 7.7% last week.
About 99% of positive tests available for sequencing in Michigan were identified as the delta variant over the last four weeks.
Those ages 30-39 have the highest case rates in the state, followed by 20-29, then 10-19.
The number of active outbreaks is up 48% from last week with 83 new outbreaks identified mostly from nursing and long-term care facilities.
About 4.7% of hospital beds are filled with COVID-19 patients. Hospitalizations have increased 29% since last week.
As of Tuesday, 1,153 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, with 318 in an intensive care unit and 147 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. 23, Michigan has more than 14,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants — the majority, or 13,661 cases, being B.1.1.7 or now known as the "Alpha" variant.
The first case of the Alpha variantwas 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 330 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 virus is blamed for more than 640,000 deaths and 39.3 million confirmed infections in the United States.
The state considered 882,059 people recovered from the virus as of Friday.