Michigan adds 86,009 cases, 501 deaths from COVID-19 over 5 days

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Michigan on Wednesday added 86,009 COVID-19 cases and 501 deaths from the virus, including cases from Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

The state averaged 17,202 confirmed cases per day over the five days. Of the latest deaths reported, 346 were identified during a delayed records review, according to the state health department.

The additions bring the state overall totals to 1,832,716 confirmed cases and 28,980 deaths since March 2020.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday recorded 4,453 adults and 114 pediatric patients are hospitalized with confirmed infections in the state. About 83% of the state's inpatient hospital beds are occupied.

Adult hospitalizations are nearing records set on Jan. 10 when the inpatient tally of 4,580 adults broke a previous record set on Dec. 13, when the state health department reported 4,518 adults were hospitalized with confirmed virus infections.

Earlier this month, the state set a new high mark when it reported more than 20,000 cases per day.

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

About 25% of hospital beds were filled with COVID-19 patients as of Wednesday and there were an average of 2,457 emergency room visits related to COVID-19 per day in the state.

According to the state's modeling projections, cases are showing a sharp increase compared to last year, hospitalizations are higher than last year, and deaths are similar to last year.

During a press update Wednesday, Henry Ford Health System officials said they're hopeful in a slight decrease of COVID-19 hospitalizations this week and a slight decrease in staff vacancies. 

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. 

Hospital systems are warning of a "breaking point" amid the surge, and federal medical teams are assisting at Beaumont's Dearborn location, Henry Ford Wyandotte, 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 last week.

"This surge is not like the others," Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, the state's chief medical executive, told reporters last week. "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 Friday, has confirmed 840 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.

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. Illinois and Michigan have the highest case rates in Midwest; New York City and Rhode Island have the highest case rates in U.S.

About 35% of K-12 school districts have mandatory mask policies in the state covering 55% of students. 

There have been 208 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, 147 - or 70% - were admitted to the intensive care units and there have been five deaths.

About 64.1%, or 6.4 million, residents have received their first doses of a vaccine, as of Monday, and 57% are fully vaccinated. So far, more than 196,000 children ages 5 to 11 in Michigan, or 23%, have received their first dose of the vaccine.

More than 2.5 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 Jan. 7. 


Twitter: @SarahRahal_