Michigan adds 1,550 cases, 72 deaths from COVID-19 over 2 days

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Michigan added 1,550 cases of COVID and 72 deaths from the virus on Wednesday, including totals from Tuesday.

The state reported an average of about 775 cases per day over the two days.

Wednesday’s additions bring the state's overall total to 2,078,951 confirmed cases and 32,830 deaths since the virus was first detected here in March 2020.

Hospitalization rates in Michigan have been on the decline for the last nine weeks, but cases rose last week.

Between March 18-24, about 3.4% of Michigan's COVID-19 tests returned positive. There is an average of 5,402 weekly cases in the state.

The latest figures come as the state and several Michigan counties have relaxed regulations to stem the spread of the virus.

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State employees in standard office and outdoor settings are generally no longer required to wear masks while working, effective last week.

Health departments including Wayne, Washtenaw and Oakland counties lifted COVID-19 orders related to K-12 schools in February.

On Monday, the state reported 421 adults and 13 pediatric patients were hospitalized with confirmed infections and 77% of the state's inpatient hospital beds were occupied. 

It's a steep decline from records set on Jan. 10, when 4,580 adults were hospitalized with COVID-19. 

About 3% of the state's hospital beds were filled with COVID-19 patients and there were an average of 969 emergency room visits related to COVID-19 per day in the state as of Friday. That compares to 24% of hospital beds being full and 2,889 daily emergency room visits due to the virus in the first week of January.

However, six Michigan counties remain at a "high" level for the increased burden on health care or severe disease: Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency, Presque Isle, St. Clair and Sanilac, according to the state health department.

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.

Coming off the highest case numbers of the entire pandemic, all of Michigan's regions are experiencing declines in case rates and hospitalizations, the state health department noted earlier this month.

Three medical teams from the Department of Defense remain in Michigan at Covenant Saginaw, Henry Ford Wyandotte and Lansing-based Sparrow Health System.

In Michigan, variants of the virus have moved at a high rate, proving more contagious than past variants and infecting both unvaccinated and vaccinated residents.

A new iteration of the omicron variant, BA.2, is on its way to becoming dominant across Michigan and the country, but experts say another surge of cases is unlikely — and at least two top scientists told The Detroit News this week that the pandemic may be nearly finished in the United States.

► For subscribers: As 'stealth' omicron spreads in Michigan, experts remain hopeful pandemic is nearing end

Residents ages 30 to 39 currently have the highest case rate of any age group.

As of Monday, 24 new outbreaks were reported over the prior week. The majority, 13 outbreaks, were in occurred in K-12 schools and another 10 outbreaks were in long-term care facilities and senior assisted living centers. The state is tracking 197 ongoing outbreak cases.

About 65%, or 6.5 million, state residents have received their first doses of a vaccine, as of Friday, and 59% are fully vaccinated. More than 225,000 children ages 5 to 11 in Michigan, or 27%, have received their first dose of the vaccine.

More than 3 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.


Twitter: @SarahRahal_