Michigan adds 17,980 cases, 128 deaths from COVID-19 over two days

Sarah Rahal Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

Michigan's addition of nearly 18,000 new, confirmed COVID-19 cases Friday pushed the state to new weekly highs not seen through the entirety of the coronavirus pandemic.  

The seven-day total as of Friday of 53,575 new, confirmed cases marks the state's largest increase in confirmed cases over a seven-day period since Michigan reported its first cases in March 2020. 

In addition to breaking its own record for seven-day totals,Michigan leads the country in new COVID-19 cases per population over the last seven days.

Michigan added 17,980 cases and 128 deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, including cases from Thursday. That's an average of 8,990 cases per day over the two days.

Of the latest deaths reported, 71 were identified during a vital records review, state health officials noted. 

The additions bring the totals so far this week to 53,575 cases and 465 deaths from the virus and the state totals since the pandemic began to 1,242,253 confirmed cases and 23,232 deaths.

Last week, the state added 31,072 cases 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.

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. 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services plans to issue a public health advisory ahead of Thanksgiving, recommending everyone older than 2 wear a mask at indoor gatherings regardless of their vaccination status.

The advisory, which is not a mandate, will also encourage establishments to implement policies to ensure that all people entering, including employees, wear a mask, according to a news release.

The face mask advisory will remain in effect until further notice, according to Friday's announcement.

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. 

As of Wednesday, 3,424 adults and 69 children are hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and another 168 people are hospitalized with suspected cases. At least 747 adults are in the ICU and 454 are on ventilators, according to state data. 

Friday's total of hospitalized adults with confirmed cases marks a 26% increase from a week ago and the highest tally since April 26, when 3470 were hospitalized. 

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.

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, Munising 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_