About 2,000 cases confirmed as Michigan continues to see ‘encouraging’ COVID-19 metrics

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LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — While Michigan’s coronavirus case rate continues on a plateau, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services experts say some other metrics are looking better and they are “encouraged” that there does not appear to have been a post-Christmas surge.

Michigan on Wednesday announced 2,031 more cases of coronavirus had been confirmed and 40 more deaths linked to the virus recorded.

In all, Michigan has now had 542,146 confirmed cases of the virus since it was first detected in the state in March 2020 and 13,905 related deaths.

On Tuesday, labs in Michigan tested 37,456 samples for the virus and 2,416 were positive, a rate of 6.45%. 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.

Kent County added 167 more cases, bringing its total since the start of the outbreak to 45,146, and recorded two more deaths for a total of 567.

Several other West Michigan counties also added deaths:

  • Berrien County: One more death for 195 total; 9,675 total confirmed cases since March 2020.
  • Branch County: One more death for 72 total; 3,190 total cases.
  • Calhoun County: One more death for 193 total; 7,515 total cases.
  • Kalamazoo County: One more death for 251 total; 12,164 total cases.
  • Muskegon County: One more death for 279 total; 9,866 total cases.
  • Oceana County: One more death for 44 total; 1,692 total cases.

Wayne County, where Detroit is and which has been hit hardest by the virus, recorded 10 more deaths and 312 more cases for totals of 3,762 and 87,847, respectively. Neighboring Oakland County has had 59,896 confirmed cases (206 more than the previous day) and 1,718 deaths (two more). Macomb County has had 51,501 cases (185 more) and 1,683 deaths (four more).

TRENDS CONTINUE TO IMPROVE

Dr. Sarah Lyon-Callo, director of the Bureau of Epidemiology and Population Health at MDHHS, hosted a virtual press conference Wednesday morning to give information about the trajectory of the virus in Michigan.

Michigan’s epidemic metrics continue to show improvements. The state’s case rate had been on a plateau for three weeks leading up to Saturday, though the numbers have looked a little better this week. The number of outbreaks the state is tracking dropped 12% in a week.

As most tests are being run — the average daily number is up 11,900 over the previous week — the state’s rate of positive tests daily dropped more than 2% in a single week. The seven-day average has dropped below 7%, though it is still more than two times higher than the 3% threshold public health officials look for to show community spread is controlled.

Hospitalizations are also trending down — they dropped 12% lower in a week and are now 52% lower than at the Dec. 1 peak — but the rate of decline has slowed following the December holidays. The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care dropped 7% in a single week.

The rate of deaths each day has been dropping for four straight weeks, but we’re still seeing five times more people die each week than in early October. The death rate is a lagging indicator; it improves after the case rate and hospitalization rate improve.

In all, Michigan now ranks 23rd among all states for the highest number of coronavirus cases, 14th in the number of deaths and 34th in the percentage of all hospital beds treating COVID-19 patients.

While the COVID-19 vaccine rollout has been going slower than many would have hoped, with public health officials blaming a limited supply of doses being funneled into the state, about 5.4% of people in Michigan have gotten at least their first dose, up from 3.2% the previous week.

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