About 180 more coronavirus cases; average positive test rate below 2%

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan has reported 179 newly confirmed cases of coronavirus and four more virus-related deaths as the state continues to see improving metrics across the board.

Wednesday’s update brings the total number of confirmed cases in Michigan to 892,830 since the virus was first identified here in March 2020 and the total number of associated deaths to 19,578.

On Tuesday, labs tested 16,994 samples for the virus and 190 were positive, which works out to 1.12%. The number of positive tests is not the same as the number of new cases because people may be tested more than once. Additionally, testing numbers are from a single calendar date, while the number of new cases lists the increase since the last time the state compiled the data; these two time frames do not match up precisely.

The seven-day average of the positive test rate is now 1.9% — below 2% for the first time since the pandemic began. Public health officials say a rate below 3% shows community spread is controlled.

Kent County counted 12 more cases in the last day for a total of 68,460 since the start of the pandemic. The number of deaths remained unchanged from the previous day at 788.

Muskegon and Ottawa counties recorded one more death each for totals of 358 and 386, respectively. Muskegon County has had 15,675 confirmed cases and Ottawa County 30,421 cases.

Wayne, the state’s most populous county, counted two more deaths for a total of 4,826 and confirmed 35 more cases for a total of 152,979. Neighboring Oakland County has had 102,076 cases (21 more than the previous day) and 2,286 deaths (no change). Macomb County has had 91,859 cases (10 more) and 2,348 deaths (revised down by one).

Michigan’s case rate, now well under last summer’s low, dropped nearly 50% last week over the previous week. The numbers are improving in all regions of the state and across all age groups.

The hospitalization rate is lower than it has been since October; only about 3% of all hospital beds in the state are treating COVID-19 patients.

While the decline in the average death rate have slowed over the last few weeks, it continues to trend down and dropped 22% last week.

According to a report from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the state ranks 13th in the nation for the highest number of new cases, 35th for highest case rate, 20th for highest inpatient hospital bed utilization and 17th for ICU bed utilization. Michigan is also eighth in highest number of deaths and 15th in death rate.

While four the state’s eight regions remain at Risk Level D, the second-highest level, experts tracking the metrics say improvements will likely soon trigger a downgrade to to Risk Level C (on a scale of low to E).

With nearly 8.8 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in Michigan, 60.6% of residents 16 and up have gotten at least one dose. That figure is up one tenth of a percentage point from the previous day. Among people 12 and up, 55.3% have gotten at least one dose.

The number of breakthrough cases — that is, people who test positive for the virus two weeks after their last vaccine dose — remains well within what was expected. The state says less than 1% of all those who are fully vaccinated have gone on to catch the virus — and there’s some evidence that those who do get it become less sick than an unvaccinated person.

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