Michigan adds 28,458 cases, 350 deaths from COVID-19 over 2 days

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Michigan on Wednesday added 28,458 COVID-19 cases and 350 deaths from the virus, including cases from Tuesday.

The state averaged 14,229 confirmed cases per day over the two days. Of the latest deaths reported, 282 were identified during a delayed records review, according to the state health department.

The additions bring the state overall totals to 1,709,593 confirmed cases and 28,228 deaths since March 2020.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Monday reported 4,580 adults were hospitalized with confirmed infections and about 81% of the state's inpatient hospital beds are occupied.

Monday's inpatient tally Monday broke a previous record set on Dec. 13, when the state health department reported 4,518 adults were hospitalized with confirmed virus infections.

The newest additions come after the state reported more than 20,000 cases per day on Friday, up from 13,673 new cases per day on Wednesday.

Michigan's top health officials have described the state's COVID-19 situation as "critical," and have urged vaccinations and boosters and masking amid a fourth surge of the virus is driving up hospitalizations. 

During the surge in the winter of 2020, the number of adults hospitalized with confirmed infections peaked at 3,884 on Dec. 1. During the surge in the spring of 2021, the count was above 4,000 for only a handful of days. 

On Monday, 108 children were hospitalized with confirmed and suspected cases. That's down from a high on Friday of 110 children hospitalized with confirmed and suspected cases of the virus, state data notes. 

About 26% of hospital beds were filled with COVID-19 patients as of Monday and there were an average of 2,643 emergency room visits related to COVID-19 per day in the state.

Based on recent data from most Michigan health systems, the state health department found that in 2021, 88% of COVID-19 patients hospitalized were unvaccinated and 85% of COVID-related deaths were occurring in unvaccinated individuals. 

Beaumont Health, Michigan's largest hospital system, warned Thursday that it had reached a "breaking point" amid the surge, and said that a federal medical team is extending its 30-day commitment to its Dearborn location an additional 30 days. 

The federal government Friday granted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's request for more staffing help at Henry Ford Hospital in Wyandotte to treat a surge of COVID-19 patients and others in need of care there. 

The hospital is the fifth in Michigan getting federal help amid the pandemic. Department of Defense teams are also deployed at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Covenant HealthCare in Saginaw and Mercy Health Muskegon. 

The current surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations could send an "already stressed" health care system "over the edge," Michigan's top health officials said during a Tuesday presentation.

"This surge is not like the others," Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, the state's chief medical executive, told reporters. "This is the highest number of weekly cases that we've ever had."

Omicron variant driving rise in cases

In Michigan, variants of the virus are moving at a high rate, proving more contagious and infecting both unvaccinated and vaccinated residents.

Medical officials are recommending residents wear surgical or KN-95 masks as the omicron variant has been shown to linger on cloth masks.

The state, as of Monday, has confirmed 617 cases of omicron by genetic sequencing at the Michigan Bureau of Laboratories in Lansing. The majority are in southeast Michigan. But experts say that a greater number of people are likely infected because only a small percentage of samples of the virus are sequenced. Roughly 95% of cases of COVID-19 in the country are caused by the omicron variant, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"It does appear that omicron is the predominant strain, which varies region to region," Bagdasarian said Tuesday. "We're likely in a situation where omicron is somewhere around 90% in some regions of the state."

For subscribers: When medical experts think omicron will peak in Michigan

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued an advisory in November recommending people wear masks at indoor gatherings regardless of their vaccination status. It remains in effect until further notice.

Michigan's latest data

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

Cases among pediatric populations have also increased 24% since last week. Bagdasarian said Tuesday there are 22 new pediatric admissions each day in the state.

There have been 196 cases of a rare inflammatory condition formed in children from the COVID-19 virus where multiple organ systems become inflamed or dysfunctional. Of the cases, 138 were admitted to the intensive care units and there have been five deaths.

About 63.3%, or 6.3 million, residents have received their first doses of a vaccine, as of Tuesday, and 57% are fully vaccinated. So far, more than 192,000 children ages 5 to 11 in Michigan, or 23%, have received their first dose of the vaccine.

More than 2.4 million vaccine booster doses have been administered in Michigan. 

Approximately 2% of those fully vaccinated have been reported with a breakthrough infection, according to the state health department.

The state considered 1,342,025 people recovered from the virus as of Friday. 


Twitter: @SarahRahal_