GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan has confirmed 11,511 new cases of coronavirus and recorded 65 more deaths related to the virus.
The numbers released Monday, which covers two days’ worth of data because the state does not provide a Sunday update, brings the total number of cases in Michigan to 314,216 since the virus was first detected in the state in March and the number of associated death to 8,543.
On Saturday, labs in Michigan tested 51,034 samples and 6,730 were positive a rate of 13.19%. On Sunday, 47,895 samples were tested and 6,250 were positive, a rate of 13.05%.
Kent County confirmed 1,254 more cases over the two days for a total of 28,139 since the start of the outbreak more than eight months ago and confirmed nine more deaths for a total of 296.
Five other West Michigan counties also saw additional deaths:
- Allegan County: One more death for 20 total; 3,217 total cases since the start of the outbreak in March.
- Kalamazoo County: One more death for 153 total; 7,333 total cases.
- Montcalm County: One more death for 22 total; 1,516 total cases.
- Muskegon County: Three more deaths for 148 total; 6,394 total cases.
- Newaygo County: One more death for 16 total; 1,376 total cases.
In Wayne County, which was the state’s initial hot spot for the virus but is no longer seeing the worst rates, there were 1,230 more cases confirmed and five more deaths recorded since Saturday’s update. Wayne County has now had 54,029 total cases since March and seen 2,297 deaths. Neighboring Oakland County has had 35,986 confirmed cases (1,020 more since data was released Saturday) and 1,255 deaths (one more). Macomb County has had 31,366 cases (1,058 more) and 1,165 deaths (four more).
ABOUT 20 MORE SCHOOL OUTBREAKS
A state list updated Monday shows 272 outbreaks associated with schools, about 20 more than last week. Most of the outbreaks, defined as two or more cases outside a single household — are at high schools, colleges or universities, and those types of institutions also have larger numbers than kindergarten through eighth-grade schools.
Rockford Public Schools’ high school and freshman center continue to have the largest outbreak of K-12 school in the state, with 52 students and staff members infected.
More than 2,039 cases have been associated with Michigan State University, centered around off-campus housing, and more than 860 have been recorded at Western Michigan University. The University of Michigan has tracked nearly 830 cases in the last 28 days alone.
Citing advice from the Kent County Health Department, Wyoming Public Schools said Monday that all of its schools would remain remote through Jan. 15. The plan is to have kids back in the classroom Jan. 18.
“We understand that this creates additional challenges for our students, staff, and families,” Superintendent Craig Hoekstra said in a statement. “As COVID-19 numbers increase, we feel this is the best decision at this time. We take the health and safety of our students and staff very seriously and are hopeful that with increased community focus on curbing the spread of the virus, we will be able to return to school safely.”
HOSPITALIZATIONS TOP 4,000 AS SURGE CONTINUES
Several metrics show Michigan’s surge in cases continues. The seven-day average of new cases per million people per day is about 519, four times higher than the spring peak and more than five times higher than it was at the start of October.
It took Michigan about six months to reach 100,000 total confirmed cases, about two more months to reach 200,000 and then only 15 days to surpass 300,000 total, reaching that threshold with Saturday’s update.
The statewide seven-day average of positive tests is now 14%, nearly quintuple the 3% that public health officials say demonstrates community spread is controlled.
Across the state, more than 4,000 hospital inpatients were either suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 as of Monday. Hospitals are filling up, with Mercy Health Saint Mary’s listed at 100% capacity, Mercy Health Mercy Campus in Muskegon at 95% capacity, and both Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids and Ascension Borgess in Kalamazoo at 88% capacity.
The average of daily deaths statewide is now around 70. While that is significantly better than it was during the spring peak, the figure has been rising and officials expect it to keep doing so.
The rate of deaths, which lags behind the infection rate, is increasing. While infection rates were low, it took about 14 weeks between early July and mid-October to record 1,000 deaths. There were another thousand between Oct. 17 and Nov. 16 — only about four weeks. Based on the current rate of deaths, it will take only about two weeks to reach another 1,000-death marker.
Aiming to flatten the curve, public health officials say people should not host large Thanksgiving gatherings and instead should celebrate with their household only.
“We’re putting out a call for help to our community to do all of the things that they can within their ability to make it difficult for this virus to spread,” Kent County Health Department Administrative Health Officer Adam London said Friday as the agency warned of a dangerous infection rate in the region and urged people not to gather.
“We do strongly recommend people adhere to this so we can beat this, save lives and shorten the time period that we’re all suffering,” London continued. “Everyone needs to do their part. And that’s the challenge right now, is we have lots of people who don’t take this seriously enough.”