LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– On Friday the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced another 8,955 people had tested positive for COVID-19, and 40 people had died from complications of the virus.
Overall, this brings Michigan to a total of 779,777 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic first began in March and 16,771 deaths.
The increase comes as MDHHS announced an expansion of mask requirements to include children as young as 2-years-old.
MDHHS says it addresses the increase in cases among younger Michiganders and follows recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.
“Michigan continues to implement smart health policies and mitigation measures to fight the spread of COVID-19,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “This includes the requirement to wear a mask while in public and at gatherings, limits on indoor residential social gatherings larger than 15 people with no more than three households, and expanded testing requirements for youth sports. Additionally, the most important thing people can do right now is to get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves and their families, and help us eliminate this virus once and for all.”
On Monday, labs tested 58,871 samples for the virus and 8,374 were positive. That’s a percentage of 14.22%. 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.
During the news conference Wednesday, Whitmer announced the state is working to expand the use of a medical intervention designed to significantly reduce hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19.
Treatments include the use of monoclonal antibodies.
Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) are laboratory-produced molecules that can restore, enhance or mimic the immune system’s attack on cells. mAb targets different parts of the virus and prevents it from bonding with cells in the body, effectively neutralizing it. Clinical trials have shown promising data that this therapy works for the treatment of COVID-19 in patients who are at high risk for progressing to severe symptoms and/or hospitalization, including older Michiganders. To date, preliminary data suggests more than 6,600 Michiganders have received this treatment with 65% reporting feeling better with two days of treatment and less than 5% of them requiring hospitalization following treatment.
We are using every mitigation strategy, every medication, and every treatment option to fight the virus here in Michigan,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “These antibody treatments could keep you out of the hospital and save your life, and my administration and I will continue working with the federal government to make sure we are using all the tools in our toolbox to keep you and your family safe and get back to normal sooner.”