State health officials report 4,200 new coronavirus cases

Coronavirus

A rendering of coronavirus via the CDC.

Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — State health officials today reported 4,273 new cases and 73 deaths due to COVID-19.

Throughout the country, local hospitals are reaching maximum capacity for patients, as hospitalizations are on the rise.

With Thanksgiving this week, airlines reported this past weekend the most number of travelers since March, when the pandemic was just starting to take flight in the U.S.

In Michigan, state health department has been consistently reporting an increasing number of new outbreaks each week.

The top three settings for coronavirus outbreaks in Michigan are: long-term care facilities, k-12 school settings and manufacturing and construction.

Region six has become an alarming hot spot for outbreaks, as it ranks no. 1 for most long-term care facility and manufacturing outbreaks.

National Update

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week for a second straight week to 778,000, evidence that the U.S. economy and job market remain under strain as coronavirus cases surge and colder weather heighten the risks.

The Labor Department’s report Wednesday said that jobless claims climbed from 748,000 the week before. Before the virus struck hard in mid-March, weekly claims typically amounted to only about 225,000. They shot up to 6.9 million during March before dropping, yet they remain historically high more than eight months later, with many businesses unable to fully reopen.

The spike in virus cases is intensifying pressure on companies and individuals, with fear growing that the economy could suffer a “double-dip” recession as states and cities reimpose restrictions on businesses.

“With infections continuing to rise at an elevated pace and curbs on business operations widening, layoffs are likely to pick up over coming weeks,″ said Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics. “Even as job growth is continuing, the labor market remains under stress and far from complete recovery.″

The total number of people who are continuing to receive traditional state unemployment benefits dropped to 6.1 million from 6.4 million the previous week. That figure has been declining for months. It shows that more Americans are finding jobs and no longer receiving unemployment aid. But it also indicates that many jobless people have used up their state unemployment aid — which typically expires after six months.

More Americans are collecting benefits under programs that were set up to cushion the economic pain from the pandemic. For the week of Nov. 7, the number of people collecting benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program — which offers coverage to gig workers and others who don’t qualify for traditional aid — rose by 466,000 to 9.1 million.

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