Michigan surpasses 2 million COVID-19 cases as it reports another 209 deaths

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Michigan surpassed 2 million cases of COVID-19 on Friday as the fourth surge of the pandemic begins to subside, health leaders say.

The state added 9,805 new cases and 209 deaths from the virus on Friday, including totals from Thursday. 

The state averaged 4,903 cases per day over the two days and of the deaths tallied Friday, 155 deaths were identified during a delayed records review, according to the state health department. 

Friday's additions bring the state's overall total to 2,009,221 confirmed cases and 30,379 deaths since the virus was first detected here in March 2020. The state surpassed 1 million cases on Sept. 22, 2021.

The state on Friday reported 2,762 adults and 61 pediatric patients were hospitalized with confirmed infections and about 80% of the state's inpatient hospital beds are occupied. 

Adult hospitalization rates are declining from records set on Jan. 10, when 4,580 adults were hospitalized with COVID-19. 

About 16% of the hospital beds were filled with COVID-19 patients and there were an average of 1,409 emergency room visits related to COVID-19 per day in the state as of Friday compared to 24% full and 2,889 emergency room visits due to the virus in the first week of January.

About 85% of COVID-19 hospitalizations are unvaccinated persons, compared to 15% of breakthrough cases.

The case counts continue to drop from early January when the state set a new high mark with more than 20,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per day.

The dip lines up with modeling predictions that suggest the COVID-19 surge would peak at the end of January or the beginning of February, Lynn Sutfin, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services told The Detroit News. 

"We are currently at an elevated plateau and will continue to monitor case rates, percent positivity and hospitalizations to determine if cases are truly declining," Sutfin said in an email. "We urge Michiganders ages 5 and older to get vaccinated or boosted if eligible as the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is our best defense against the virus."

For subscribers: Michigan hospitals 'cautiously optimistic' omicron surge subsiding

Henry Ford Health System officials also have expressed optimism over a slight decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations within the medical system and in its staff vacancies over the last two weeks. 

Federal medical teams have been deployed to assist in the care of patients at Beaumont's Dearborn location, Henry Ford Wyandotte, Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Covenant HealthCare in Saginaw, Mercy Health Muskegon and Lansing-based Sparrow Health System.

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 have recommended surgical or KN-95 masks as the omicron variant has been shown to linger on cloth masks.

The state, as of Monday, confirmed 1,904 cases of omicron by genetic sequencing at the Michigan Bureau of Laboratories in Lansing. The majority are in southeast Michigan. 

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

To manage the surge in Metro Detroit, Wayne County announced in January that it has partnered with the CDC and the City of Dearborn on a free COVID-19 PCR-only testing site at Ford Field Park. Click here for a list of all upcoming vaccine clinics and testing sites, sortable by date and location.

Michigan's latest data

Michigan percentage of tests returning has plateaued after increasing for the last four weeks. Illinois and Ohio have the highest case rates in the Midwest; California and Texas have the highest case rates in U.S.

Between Jan. 25-30, about 24.4% of Michigan's COVID-19 tests returned positive, a  decline from 32.5% the third week of January.

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

There have been 227 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 intensive care units and there have been five deaths.

About 65%, or 6.5 million, residents have received their first doses of a vaccine, as of Wednesday, and 58% are fully vaccinated. More than 204,000 children ages 5 to 11 in Michigan, or 25%, have received their first dose of the vaccine.

More than 2.75 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 1,421,905 people recovered from the virus as of Jan. 20. 

srahal@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @SarahRahal_