Direct voting leads in preliminary UAW referendum results

Michigan adds 14,561 cases, 242 deaths from COVID-19 over two days

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Michigan added 14,561 cases and 242 deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, including cases from Tuesday.

Michigan leads the country in new COVID-19 cases per population over the last seven days. Between Nov. 2-8, the state had 280 deaths, the 12th highest in the country. 

The latest figures from the state Department of Health and Human Services push the overall totals to 1,224,273 confirmed cases and 23,104 deaths since the virus was first detected in the state in March 2020.

The state averaged 7,281 cases per day over the two days. Of the latest deaths reported, 177 were identified during a vital records review, state health officials noted. 

So far this week, the state has added 35,595 cases and 337 deaths from the virus.

Last week, the state added 31,072 and 293 deaths from the virus, an increase from the week prior when the state added 29,171 cases and 292 deaths from the virus. In the last week of September, the state added 23,801 cases and 244 deaths.

The weekly record of 50,892 cases was set Nov. 15-21, 2020. The second-highest weekly total was 47,316 Nov. 22-28, 2020.

On Nov. 15, 2020, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced her administration's "pause to save lives," bringing wide-ranging restrictions limiting gatherings at high schools, colleges and restaurants to combat what she described as the "worst moment" yet in the COVID-19 pandemic. Those restrictions ended in June. 

Michigan's latest data

Michigan remains at a high transmission rate and the state's percent of tests returning positive has increased from last week.

Statewide positivity increased to 16.7% from 14.1% the week prior, according to data from Wednesday.

Michigan hospitalizations from COVID-19 are at a seven-month high. Hospitalizations have increased by nearly 20% for two straight weeks. Should it continue on the trajectory, Michigan could have 4,000 patients hospitalized within the next two weeks, data shows.

As of Wednesday, 3,197 adults and 51 children are hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and another 175 people are hospitalized with suspected cases. At least 682 adults are in the ICU and 385 are on ventilators, according to state data. 

The state's record for most adult hospitalizations with confirmed cases of the virus occurred on April 19 with 4,158 inpatients.

John Karasinski, a spokesman of the Michigan Health and Hospital Association, has said the growth is concerning as hospitals have experienced a 40% increase in daily emergency department patients since October 2020. Overall bed occupancy in Michigan hospitals is 10% higher than what Michigan experienced in the fall surge when the state peaked Dec. 1, 2020, with 4,283 COVID-19 hospitalizations, he said.

"Both the Traverse City and Jackson regions have already surpassed their COVID-19 hospitalization peaks from this past spring," Karasinski said in a statement Friday. "If the growth in hospitalizations does not slow down, many regions of the state will be on pace to reach their highest COVID-19 hospitalizations since the start of the pandemic."

Karasinski said national healthcare staffing shortages are putting more pressure on frontline caregivers and increasing rates of burnout.

He further said hospitals need the public's help and encouraged residents to get themselves, their children and others not only vaccinated against COVID-19 but also influenza. 

About 13.9% of hospital beds are filled with COVID-19 patients, up from 11.6% the week prior. There has been an average of 2,437 emergency room visits related to COVID-19 every day in the state.

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

As of Monday, nine hospitals were at full bed occupancy including Detroit Receiving Hospital, Hurley Medical Center, Mid-Michigan Medical-Gratiot, Munsing Memorial Hospital, ProMedica Coldwater Regional Hospital, Sparrow Eaton, Spectrum Health Kelsey Hospital, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital and St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Hospital.

In August, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, which health experts hoped would bolster confidence in vaccinations.

About 54.4% of Michigan residents 12 and older are fully vaccinated.

Roll out of the vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds is occurring after Pfizer's vaccine for children was approved by the FDA and more than 840,000 children of that age are in Michigan.So far, more than 67,400 children have received their first dose in Michigan.

Approximately 1.5% of those fully vaccinated have been reported with a breakthrough infection, according to the state health department.

The number of active outbreaks has increased 6% since last week at 162 new outbreaks. Transmission levels remain highest for those aged 10-19 years old.

There were 86 new outbreaks at K-12 schools in Michigan in the past week for a total of 480 ongoing outbreaks. About 7% of school districts have rescinded their school mask policies bringing the total to 42% of school districts mandating masks.

Case rates among children are higher in counties where school districts do not have mask policies, according to the state health department.

In Michigan, over 50% of children hospitalized for the virus have no reported underlying conditions.

Outbreaks have led to an increase in multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. MIS-C is a condition in children where multiple organ systems become inflamed or dysfunctional. There are 176 cases in the state, and the majority, or 71%, are in the ICU. There have been five deaths.

As of Tuesday, Michigan has more than 18,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants — the majority, or 13,667 cases, being B.1.1.7 — the "alpha" variant.

The delta variant accounts for 11,439 known cases and has spread statewide.

The virus is blamed for more than 765,000 deaths and 47.3 million confirmed infections in the United States.

The state considered 1,048,073 million people recovered from the virus as of Nov. 10. 

srahal@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @SarahRahal_