LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– On Wednesday, Michigan health officials reported 8,015 new COVID-19 cases and 30 deaths related to the virus.
This brings the state’s total number of cases to 707,463 and 16,297 deaths.
The cases numbers come, as this morning state health officials reported Michigan now has the poorest coronavirus metrics in the nation, ranking no. 1 among states for number of cases, case rate, hospitalizations and ICU utilization.
The state’s case rate has been on the rise for six weeks and has increased 375% since the Feb. 19 low. The rate jumped about 50% in the last week alone. The seven-day average of the test positivity rate is 16.5%, more than five times the 3% threshold that public health officials look for to show the spread of the virus is controlled.
People age 20-39 are seeing the highest rates, though the 10-19 age range is also seeing an all-time high. The rates are lower among those older than 70, who are more likely to be vaccinated.
During a regular COVID-19 briefing Wednesday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rachelle Walensky said the strain, formally known as B.1.1.7, is “now the most common lineage circulating in the United States.”
In the U.S., the UK variant has been shown to be especially transmissible and infectious among younger Americans, which Walensky said contributed to rising case counts in recent weeks.
“These trends are pointing towards two clear truths: one, the virus still has a hold on us, infecting people and putting them in harm’s way, and we need to remain vigilant, and two, we need to accelerate our vaccine efforts and take the personal responsibility to get vaccinated when we can,” she said.