Michigan adds 6,604 cases, 62 deaths from COVID-19 over two days

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Michigan added 6,604 COVID-19 cases and 62 deaths from the virus on Wednesday, including cases from Tuesday.

The latest tallies from the state Department of Health and Human Services push the overall totals to 983,109 cases and 20,597 deaths since the virus was first detected in the state in March 2020. 

Michigan's COVID-19 infection numbers have been trending upward for 10 weeks amid concerns over the highly contagious delta variant. 

So far this week, the state has added 12,697 cases and 91 deaths from the virus.

Last week, the state added 14,772 cases and 139 deaths from the virus, a slight increase from the week prior, when the state added 13,962 cases and 136 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.

Earlier this month, 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 66.5% 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 month that gave those who received their vaccinations the chance to win cash prizes.

About 56.5% or 5.1 million Michigan residents 12 years and older are fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, emergency departments at Beaumont Health's eight hospitals and two emergency centers are near capacity, prompting Michigan's largest health care system to ask people not to visit unless their health needs are urgent. 

All Michigan residents should be wearing masks while in public under federal guidelines, the CDC suggests.

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 said.

The state health department estimates less than 1% of vaccinated people in Michigan are contracting the virus.

Michigan's latest data

Michigan has the 15th-lowest case rate and eighth-lowest death rate over the last week in the U.S., according to the CDC's COVID data tracker.

Statewide positivity has increased to 9.7%, up from 9.2% last week.

About 99% of positive tests available for sequencing in Michigan were identified as the delta variant over the last four weeks.

Case rates are the highest for 10-19-year-olds, followed by those aged 30-39, followed by 20-29, then 40-49.

The number of outbreaks is up 26% from last week with 132 new outbreaks in the past week.

There are 454 active outbreaks reported this week with 74 new K-12 school outbreaks, up from 30 school outbreaks last week. There were four additional outbreaks at colleges or universities and nine in child or youth care. About 43% of school districts have some mask policy, covering about 60% of students. Case rates among children are higher in counties where school districts do not have mask policies, according to the state health department.

► More: Michigan health department says mask wearing can limit student quarantines

About 6.8% of hospital beds are filled with COVID-19 patients, up from 5.8% last week. 

As of Wednesday, 1,426 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, with 400 in an intensive care unit and 184 other patients on ventilators. The volume of COVID-19 patients in intensive care has increased 16% since last week compared to a 9% increase last week.

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

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 Sept. 14, Michigan has more than 16,300 confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants — the majority, or 13,697 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 88 cases of the variant.

The first case of the P.1. variant from Brazil was identified in a Bay County resident. There are now 336 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 2,127 cases in the state. 

The virus is blamed for more than 664,000 deaths and 41.4 million confirmed infections in the United States.

The state considered 896,206 people recovered from the virus as of Friday.

srahal@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @SarahRahal_