Michigan reports 2,600 coronavirus cases as rate remains worst in nation


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan has reported 2,589 more coronavirus cases and 42 more deaths related to the virus.

The Wednesday update brings the total number of cases in the state to 854,536 since it was first identified here in March 2020 and the total number of related deaths to 17,939.

On Tuesday, labs tested 34,995 samples for the virus and 3,023 were positive, a rate of 8.64%. That’s the lowest rate since March 20.

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.

Across the Upper Peninsula, a total of 47 confirmed Coronavirus cases are reported. Marquette County had the most with 10. Alger, Chippewa, Keweenaw, and Ontonagon Counties have no new cases. Baraga County recorded its 35th COVID-19 related death.

Wayne County, hit hardest by the virus, reported 18 more deaths for a total of 4,430 and confirmed 484 more cases for a total of 145,849 since March 2020. Neighboring Oakland County has had 98,032 confirmed cases (248 more than the previous day) and 2,096 deaths (no change). Macomb County has had 88,532 cases (264 more) and 2,158 deaths (two more).

More than 7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Michigan. A little more than half of the state’s population over the age of 16 has received at least one dose and more than 39% has finished their immunization course.

CVS said Wednesday is is now taking walk-ins for COVID-19 vaccinations at about 300 stores, including several in Michigan. You can also schedule an appointment as close as one hour before you want to go get your shot.

While Michigan has been seeing improving case and test positivity rates and hospitalization numbers, our outbreak is still the worst in the nation. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says that even though the average case rate has dropped 40% since its high three weeks ago, Michigan still has the highest case rate of any state. It has the second highest number of cases.

Michigan’s average test positivity rate is dropping and is now near 12%, but it is still more than four times higher than the 3% threshold public health officials say shows community spread is controlled.

Hospitalizations have been dropping for two weeks, but Michigan’s inpatient bed utilization is still the highest in the country and it rose a spot again last week to again have the highest ICU bed utilization.

The death rate is 370% higher than it was on the March 9 low, though it leveled off last week. Michigan ranks second in the nation for death rate in fifth in highest number of deaths.

People age 10 to 19 are still contracting the virus at the highest rate, which West Michigan doctors are blaming at least in part on the more contagious B.1.1.7 variant — of which Michigan has confirmed more than 6,800 cases. K-12 schools account for more outbreaks than any other kind of setting.

Spectrum Health doctors said earlier this week they were buoyed by news that the federal government may greenlight the Pfizer vaccine for kids as young as 12 next week, saying that could help beat back the pandemic and protect children from MIS-C, a rare complication kids can develop after contracting the virus that can be deadly.

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