Skip to main content
Bridge Michigan
Michigan’s nonpartisan, nonprofit news source

Coronavirus Tracker | Cases up to nearly 2,400 per day, rates increasing after roller coaster

Bridge Michigan
Michigan Health Watch
Coronavirus Tracker | Cases up to nearly 2,400 per day, rates increasing after roller coaster

Last updated: Monday, Sept. 20 at 3:54p.m. This post will be continuously updated with Michigan coronavirus locations and updated COVID-19 news.

 
 
 

For more interactive maps and charts, see the Michigan Coronavirus Dashboard, showing vaccine distribution information, case numbers, locations, deaths and demographics.

Michigan reported 7,185 new COVID-19 infections on Monday over the past three days, for an average of 2,395 per day.

That pushed the seven-day rate to 2,772, up from 2,616 on Friday.

The state also reported 35 additional COVID-19 deaths.

Related: Pfizer: COVID vaccine gives ‘robust’ protection for children ages 5 to 11

Statewide, Michigan has a rate of 28 new cases per day per 100,000 residents, but in 12 counties, the rate exceeds 50 cases per 100,000: Dickinson, Isabella, Delta, Oceana, Berrien, Mecosta, Cass, Iosco, Osceola, Menominee, Hillsdale and Kalkaska. Rates in eight other counties are between 45 and 50 cases per 100,000 residents.

Of the 10 most populous counties, only Kent and neighboring Ottawa have rates above 30 cases per day per 100,000 residents. Kent is at 36 cases and Ottawa is at 33.

Hospitalizations for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 climbed 1,525 on Monday from 1,472 on Friday. 

The increase comes as the percentage of positive coronavirus tests falls. Over the past three days, 9 percent of nearly 101,000 tests were positive, and the seven-day rate fell to 8.7 percent, down from 9.6 percent a week ago.

School outbreak data released Monday also shows 98 new outbreaks statewide affecting 412 students or staff, up from 71 new outbreaks a week ago affecting 344 people in K-12 schools and colleges.

All told, the state is monitoring 128 new and ongoing school outbreaks affecting 1,730 people, up from 113 total outbreaks a week ago affecting 892 people.Mike Wilkinson



Friday, Sept. 17

Cases continue to seesaw

Michigan reported an average of 2,808 COVID-19 cases per day on Thursday and Friday, down from 3,300 per day on Tuesday and Wednesday.

That lowered the seven-day average to 2,616 from 2,685 on Wednesday.

Cases have slowly increased in the past two weeks, but not on a consistent basis. A spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services told Bridge Michigan that because of an increase in home tests, the time between the onset of symptoms and the reporting date of new infections has grown.

Related: In Upper Peninsula, a COVID spike, a death threat and a school mask mandate

That’s made case counts more volatile, rising and falling frequently.

But case counts are rising in 65 of 83 counties, including much of west Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. Berrien County in southwest Michigan and Delta County in the Upper Peninsula are now reporting over 60 cases per 100,000 per day over the past week.

For Berrien County, that’s triple the rate of 20 cases per 100,000 a week ago; Delta was reporting 35 cases per day per 100,000 a week ago.

The state also reported 68 additional COVID-19 deaths, all but one of which was in September. 

Barely halfway through the month, there are now 301 COVID-19 deaths in September, or nearly 18 a day. In August, there were 428 deaths, or 14 a day.

COVID-19 hospitalizations declined to 1,472 from 1,535, the first substantial drop since late July.

Over the most recent two days of testing, 8.4 percent of coronavirus tests came back positive, also a recent low. It put the rate over the past week at 9 percent, the lowest since it was 8.9 percent on Aug. 28.

Testing has increased 44 percent since Aug. 28, however, with nearly 223,000 people seeking a test in the past seven days, up nearly 69,000 tests.

The latest vaccination data shows that 57.2 percent of Michigan residents 18 and older have completed their COVID-19 vaccinations. That ranks Michigan 28th in the nation, and less than Wisconsin (62 percent) but more than Ohio (54.2 percent) and Indiana (53.7 percent.)   — Mike Wilkinson


Wednesday, Sept. 15

Cases jump to 3,302 per day

Michigan reported 6,604 new infections, or an average of 3,302 for the past two days on Wednesday, up from 2,000 per day on Monday.

The increase comes after case averages fell to 1,500 for the four days over Labor Day weekend. The new cases push the seven-day average to 2,685 a day, the highest since 2,836 on May 7.

There are conflicting opinions about whether case trends will increase or decrease in coming weeks.

Related: Republicans advance bills to bar Michigan school mask mandates

In her latest report released Wednesday, state epidemiologist Sarah Lyon-Callo indicated “case trends may be slowing.”

A national forecasting model by researchers at Yale, Harvard and Stanford, meanwhile, has predicted Michigan’s infection rate in a steady downturn, like most states in the country. On Wednesday, though, that model has turned pessimistic, showing cases increasing.

Earlier in the pandemic, the percentage of positive coronavirus tests was a good barometer of whether cases were rising or falling. But with so many tests now taken at home, that has proven less reliable.

On Wednesday, the state reported that 9.3 percent of the past two days’ tests were positive, down from 9.7 percent reported Monday. 

The state also reported an additional 62 COVID-19 deaths, including 41 determined after a review of health and medical records. All but five of the deaths occurred in September; the other five were in August.

After hitting a pandemic low of 158 deaths in July, there were 427 in August and, so far, 234 in September. Since the pandemic began in March 2020, there have been 20,597 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in Michigan.

The state also reported there were 1,535 patients being treated in Michigan hospitals for confirmed or suspected COVID-19, up from 1,516 on Monday.Mike Wilkinson 


Monday, June 13

Cases average 2,031 per day

Michigan on Monday reported 6,093 new COVID-19 cases for the past three days, or an average of 2,031 per day, as well as 29 more deaths from the virus.

That’s down from the 3,000 cases per day reported Friday but it raised the weekly average to 2,304 daily cases, up from 2,110 on Friday.

Hospitalizations rose over the weekend, albeit slightly. There are now 1,516 patients treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19, up from 1,479 on Friday.

Related: Michigan COVID nurses reach their limit: ‘I know I can’t do this forever’

The rate of increases, in both cases and hospitalizations, has been slower during the current rise than during the spring and fall surges.

Of more than 88,500 tests reported Monday, 9.7 percent were positive, which is also the percentage of all tests in the past week that were positive. A week ago, the seven-day rate was 9.4 percent.

Michigan also reported that new COVID-19 outbreaks are affecting students and staff at 71 schools, including elementary, middle and high schools and four colleges or universities.

There are another 42 ongoing outbreaks and all told the state reported that 892 people — mostly students but also staff — have tested positive for COVID-19.

A week earlier there were 44 total outbreaks affecting 407 people. — Mike Wilkinson


Friday, Sept. 10

Michigan averages 3,000 cases per day

Michigan reported 6,095 cases of COVID-19 for Thursday and Friday, the first time since May 6 the state averaged more than 3,000 new cases per day.

That pushed the seven-day average to 2,110, up from 1,875 on Wednesday. Cases have steadily increased since mid-July when the state was averaging fewer than 200 daily cases.

Rising case counts are now being reported in central and west Michigan and parts of the Upper Peninsula.

Related: Biden vaccine mandate: What’s it mean for Michigan schools, those who refuse?

Kent County, the most populous county outside of metro Detroit, reported 30 daily cases per 100,000, up from 27 a week earlier.

Detroit is at 11 cases per day per 100,000; Oakland, Macomb and suburban Wayne are all around 20 cases per day per 100,000; statewide it is 21 cases per day, which is still one of the lowest rates in the country.

Hospitalizations are also increasing, with 1,479 COVID-19 patients, up from 1,414 on Wednesday and 225 more than a week ago. 

At the worst of the spring surge, just over 4,400 patients were being treated.

Hospitals in Oakland, Macomb and St. Clair counties reported a 40 percent jump in hospitalizations in the past week, from 276 to 387 on Friday, while Upper Peninsula hospitalizations increased 45 percent over the week.

An additional 59 COVID-19 deaths were reported Friday, including 44 that were determined following a review of vital records.

Testing data, which has become less of a reliable barometer of trends because many home tests are not reported, showed that 9.5 percent of the last week’s tests have come back positive, up from 9.1 percent a week earlier. — Mike Wilkinson 


Wednesday, Sept. 8

Michigan reports most cases since May

Michigan reported 2,364 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest one-day total since 2,758 on May 7.

Reporting over the holiday weekend, which had the lowest daily counts since Aug. 23, may have contributed to the volatility in case counts.

Even so, the seven-day average rose to 1,875, up from 1,858 on Tuesday.

Related: Michigan: Masked or vaxxed students more likely to avoid COVID quarantine

Officials also reported 51 deaths, the most on a single day since June 12. 

The deaths included 12 in August and 39 in September. There are now 407 deaths from August, up from 165 in July; there had been 406 in June as the spring surge was waning.

Hospitalizations to 1,415 patients being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19, up from 1,397 on Tuesday.

In the latest report from the state’s top epidemiologist, the number of infections among the vaccinated rose to 3,806 over the week that ended Aug. 31. That accounted for 28 percent of all cases over that week.

The rate of infections among the vaccinated was 11.6 per 100,000 people, well under half the unvaccinated rate of 25.4 cases per 100,000.

As of Wednesday, 4.8 million people had been fully vaccinated, or 56.2 percent of the eligible population, those 12 and older. Mike Wilkinson


Tuesday, Sept. 7

Average cases fall to 1,578 per day 

Michigan reported 6,313 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, or an average of 1,578 for each of the past four days, the lowest rate since 1,273 were reported Aug. 23.

That lowered the seven-day daily average to 1,858, down from 1,995 on Friday.

Related: COVID surge has largely missed Michigan. Has the state dodged a bullet?

The state also reported 29 additional COVID-19 deaths.

Because of technical problems, the state said it could not release the latest testing data. — Mike Wilkinson


Friday, Sept. 3

Cases remain stable as neighboring states surge

COVID-19 cases in Michigan remain relatively stable, with the state reporting 4,448 cases on Thursday and Friday for an average of 2,224 per day.

That leaves the daily rate relatively unchanged, as it was 2,247 a day on Tuesday and Wednesday. Over the past seven days, the rate is 1,995, up from the weekly rate of 1,925 on Wednesday.

Case counts are increasing far slower than either in the fall or spring, easing pressure on hospitals, where the number of COVID-19 patients fell on Friday to 1,254 from 1,258 on Wednesday.

However, neighboring states have substantial surges in cases. Michigan currently is tied with the fourth-lowest case rate in the country, at 22 cases per day per 100,000 residents. Indiana is at 62 cases per 100,000, while Ohio is at 45 cases per 100,000 and Wisconsin is at 34 cases per 100,000.

Michigan also reported 51 COVID-19 deaths, of which 50 were in the past three weeks. The additional deaths push the toll in August to 389 COVID-19 deaths, more than double the 165 in July.

Roughly 8.7 percent of coronavirus tests came back positive in the last two days in Michigan, down slightly from Wednesday. The seven-day positivity rate remains unchanged at 9.1 percent.

The positive rate has stayed between 8 and 9.1 percent for 17 days. In the spring, the rate was 16.6 percent 17 days after surpassing 8 percent; it was 13.4 percent in the fall 17 days after exceeding 8 percent.— Mike Wilkinson


Wednesday, Sept. 1

59 deaths, 2,247 cases per day on average

Michigan reported 59 new COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, and 4,494 new coronavirus infections, or 2,247 a day.

The deaths included 53 in August, pushing that month’s total to 349, more than double July’s toll of 165.

The new infections pushed the seven-day average to 1,925 daily cases, up slightly from the 1,901 daily cases registered on Monday.

Statewide, case counts are rising in 43 of the state’s 83 counties, with west Michigan counties of Kent and Ottawa seeing similar increases. Kent is recording 26 cases a day per 100,000 on average, up from 19 the week earlier. Ottawa has 27 cases a day per 100,000, up from 23.

Related: Michigan Republicans vote to block emergency alerts for COVID orders

But in Branch County, the hardest-hit county recently, average daily cases fell to 25 per 100,000 people, down from a state-leading 39 per 100,000 a week earlier. It is in southwest Michigan, along the Indiana border.

In its latest weekly report on case trends, the state reported nearly 2,600 breakthrough cases — coronavirus infections among those who are fully vaccinated. Covering the week of Aug. 18 through Aug. 25, the cases represent 22.5 percent of all cases over that time.

The rate of infections for the vaccinated, however, is less than half of that for those who have not been vaccinated: 8.6 cases per 100,000 compared to 22.2 cases for every 100,000 unvaccinated people.

Hospitalizations among the fully vaccinated remain rare — 836 in 2021 of 59,000 admissions for COVID-19. 

Of the nearly 7,300  COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 1, 279 had been people who were fully vaccinated. Of those, 247 were 65 or older.

Testing results over the past two days registered 9.5 percent positive but the seven-day rate remained flat, at 9.1 percent positive.

The state’s hospitals reported an additional 10 patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, with 1,258 hospitalized statewide, compared to 1,248 on Monday.

Although cases, percent positive and hospitalizations are all rising, they are doing so far more slowly than they did last fall or this spring. — Mike Wilkinson


Monday, Aug. 30

Cases holding steady

Michigan reported over 5,000 new coronavirus infections over the weekend, or 1,674 for each of the three days, a decrease in cases reported over the previous five days.

Overall, the 5,020 new infections bring the seven-day rate to 1,901 new daily infections, up from 1,729. However, the increases in the last two weeks are far more muted than what was recorded during the winter and spring surges.

The positive test rate rose to 9.2 percent over the weekend, up from 8.7 percent on Friday, and the seven-day rate rose above 9 percent (to 9.2 percent) for the first time since May 7.

In the spring, when Michigan was hammered with the worst surge in the country, the weekly positive rate went from 7 percent to 9 percent in six days. In the winter, it took seven days.

This time it’s taken 22 days since the state reported a weekly rate of 7 percent on Aug. 8, an indication of how much more slowly cases are rising and the potential effectiveness of the vaccines that have been administered to nearly 5.3 million state residents.

In other positive news, the number hospitalized for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 was 1,248, up just four from Friday’s reported 1,244. That’s the smallest increase since hospitalizations began rising in mid-July.

The state reported an additional 26 COVID-19 deaths, 25 of which occurred in August. For the month there have been 296 deaths, up substantially from the 164 recorded in July. — Mike Wilkinson


Friday, Aug. 27

COVID rates stabilize

Despite recording the most weekly COVID-19 cases since mid-May, the overall counts in Michigan have stabilized as the state reported Friday there were 3,958 new cases over the past two days.

That’s an average of 1,979 a day, a drop from the daily average of more than 2,100 daily cases reported on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. The seven-day daily average is now 1,729.

Another potentially encouraging sign: The state reported Friday that 8.5 percent of people tested for COVID produced positive results, a rate that has remained virtually unchanged over the past 10 days. During earlier surges of the virus (before millions of state residents were vaccinated), once the state’s positive test rate hit 8 percent it moved quickly to 10 percent or higher as cases and deaths shot up. 

Related: Wayne County issues school mask mandate for all students, staff

In the fall, the weekly positive rate hit 12 percent just 10 days after crossing the 8 percent threshold and it hit 13 percent in the spring after first crossing 8 percent.

The number of new COVID cases are rising in many parts of Michigan, but far more slowly than in earlier surges, aided perhaps by the fact over 55.6 percent of eligible state residents — ages 12 and older — are fully vaccinated.

But people are still getting seriously ill and dying: The state reported 69 additional COVID-19 deaths Friday. For August there have been 271 COVID-19 deaths, up from 163 in all of July.

Hospitalizations rose slightly on Friday, to 1,244 patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. That is up 9 patients from Wednesday and 233 from a week ago.— Mike Wilkinson


Wednesday, Aug. 25 

COVID deaths climb in August as hospitalizations increase

Michigan has reported 207 COVID-19 deaths so far in August, up from 162 for the month of July, according to the latest data released by the state.

That total includes 37 August deaths reported on Wednesday (a 38th death reported Wednesday was from July.) 

While COVID-related deaths are rising in Michigan, they remain far below earlier surges of the virus. In the month of April, for instance, 1,743 deaths were recorded in Michigan. Deaths declined the following months, but are again picking up as the delta variant surges.

Related: Almost half of Michigan students now in schools with COVID mask mandates

The state reported an average of 2,163 new COVID-19 cases for Tuesday and Wednesday, pushing the seven-day daily average to 1,763, up from 1,415 a week ago. On Aug. 1 the state averaged 633 daily cases.

Hospitalizations rose again Wednesday, up 76 to 1,235 COVID-19 patients being treated statewide. That, too, is still well below April, when hospitalizations peaked at just over 4,400.

The latest testing data showed 9.3 percent of just over 47,200 COVID tests given in the state came back positive. The weekly rate is 8.7 percent, up from 8.4 percent a week ago.

Statewide, 44 counties have a rate above 10 percent; a week ago, 28 counties had rates above 10 percent. Higher rates of positive tests indicate greater community spread of the virus.

However, the rate of increase is far slower than in the spring. On March 16, the statewide seven-day rate was 6 percent and rose to 8.9 percent in a week. It’s been three weeks since the state rate rose above 6 percent on Aug. 3, before hitting 8.7 percent on Wednesday. — Mike Wilkinson


Monday, Aug. 23

Michigan COVID cases fall, hospitalizations up 

Michigan public health officials reported 3,920 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, or roughly 1,273 a day over the past three days, a rate far lower than Friday’s average of nearly 2,100 daily cases. (Reported case counts have tended to be lower over the weekend in Michigan.)

The case count somewhat stabilizes the overall trend in cases, with an average of 1,530 cases a day over the past week.

Though that’s a jump from the 1,352 average a week ago, it’s a small overall increase.

Related: Q & A: Small-town Michigan superintendent tells why he is mandating masks

During the fall and spring surges, case counts rose more rapidly after hitting 1,300 daily cases. For instance in the spring it went from 1,362 on March 10 to 1,951 a week later. And seven days later it was just under 3,000 before peaking at just over 7,000 in mid-April.

But no one had been vaccinated prior to the fall surge and a relatively small fraction of state residents had been vaccinated prior to the spring surge. By comparison, today more than 4.7 million state residents are fully vaccinated.

Testing data showed that 8.5 percent of COVID tests given over the past three days came back positive, up slightly from a week ago. Higher rates of positive tests indicate greater community spread of the virus.

The state also reported 10 additional COVID-19 deaths covering Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 933,394 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 20,123 confirmed deaths in Michigan.

As of Monday, there are 1,159 patients being treated in Michigan hospitals for confirmed or suspected COVID-19, up from 1,011 on Friday. Hospitalizations have risen steadily since hitting a low of 279 on July 12 and are rising in every region of the state except the Upper Peninsula.— Mike Wilkinson


Friday, Aug. 20 

Cases spike by more than 700 after remaining stable for weeks

COVID-19 cases spiked to 4,197 cases on Thursday and Friday — or nearly 2,100 per day — from the daily average of 1,345 on Wednesday and 1,184 on Monday.

The increase follows rising positive test rates, with 33 counties now averaging 10 percent or more positive tests over the past week, up from 28 counties on Wednesday and 22 counties last Friday.

Most of the counties are rural, but others, urban areas also are experiencing similar increases including Kalamazoo County (12.2 percent) and Kent County (10.2 percent.) The statewide positive test rate remains 8.4 percent over the past week.

Case counts in both Kalamazoo (22 daily cases per 100,000, up from 15) and Kent (17 cases per 100,000, up from 13) are rising as they are in 68 of the state’s 83 counties and Detroit.

However, Michigan still has one of the lowest overall rates in the country.

The increase in cases has put more people in the hospital, with the state reporting more than 1,000 COVID-19 patients (1,011 total) for the first time since 1,007 were reported on June 1. 

The number of hospitalized fell to a low of 279 on July 12 but has risen since.

The state also reported 37 additional COVID-19 deaths on Friday and over the past week it was reported 102, double the 61 reported in the previous week.

State officials have warned that the state could face a fourth surge unless more people get vaccinated and people take precautions like wearing masks and remaining vigilant.  — Mike Wilkinson


Wednesday, Aug. 18

46 new deaths, but cases stable

Michigan reported 46 new COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, as fatalities have risen sharply in recent weeks.

Over the past week ending Tuesday, there were 56 COVID-19 deaths, up from 37 weekly deaths a month ago. However, during the peak of the spring surge, the state was reporting close to 500 deaths in a week.

New COVID-19 cases have risen sharply in the past month as the more contagious Delta variant has become the predominant strain of the coronavirus, with the state reporting 2,690 cases over Tuesday and Wednesday, or an average of 1,339 a day for the past week.

Related: Michigan GOP eyes limits to vaccine, mask rules. Health officials dismayed

A month ago, the state was averaging 246 cases a day.

There are worrisome and hopeful signs.

The percent of positive tests rose to just over 9 percent for the past two days, pushing the weekly rate to 8.3 percent, up from 5.4 percent on Aug. 1. Twenty-eight counties now have a positive rate of 10 percent or higher, up from 22 counties a week ago.

But cases have not jumped substantially in the past two weeks and hospitalizations are not climbing as fast as they did during previous surges. There are now 944 patients being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19, up from 925 on Monday.

In the spring, hospitalization rates rose far more rapidly, peaking at over 4,400. — Mike Wilkinson


Monday, Aug. 18

Cases holding steady at 1,200

Michigan averaged nearly 1,200 daily COVID-19 cases over the weekend, staying relatively stable even as the percent of positive coronavirus tests has risen.

The state reported 3,554 new COVID-19 cases and 19 COVID-19 deaths on Monday, covering Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Although that pushed the seven-day daily average up to 1,352, the increase hasn’t risen steeply as it has in Sunbelt states reeling from the more-contagious Delta variant.

Related: Michigan colleges set fall requirements for masks and COVID-19 vaccines

Case rates in Michigan are climbing, now averaging about 14 cases per 100,000 per day.

But that’s a fraction of the more than 70 cases per 100,000 per day seen at the height of the spring surge when some counties’ rates exceeded 120 cases a day per 100,000.

The latest testing data shows that over the past week nearly 7.7 percent of tests have been positive, up from 7.1 percent a week ago. It was 6 percent on Aug. 1 and below 2 percent from mid-June through mid-July.

Hospitalizations rose slightly over the weekend, with 925 patients being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID, up from 908 on Friday. — Mike Wilkinson


Friday, Aug. 13

Positive test rate up to 7.9 percent

Michigan COVID-19 cases continue to rise, as state officials on Friday reported 3,127 cases over the past two days — for an average of 1,564 — and a positive test rate of 7.9 percent. 

That’s the highest positive rate since it was 8 percent on May 11.

Of Michigan’s 83 counties, 22 have 10 percent or more tests coming back positive. In Iosco County 21 percent of tests in the past week have been positive.

Even as cases are rising, several states — particularly those in the South — have far higher rates of infection, largely because of the Delta variant, which is considered far more contagious, continues to spread rapidly.

Michigan hospitalizations are surging as well, with the state reporting Friday that 908 people are being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19. 

The state also reported 29 additional COVID-19 deaths over the past two days, bringing the total since the pandemic started to 20,011.

In all, 59.3 percent of Michigan residents over 12 have been vaccinated. — Mike Wilkinson


Thursday, Aug. 12

Doctor groups urge masks in schools

Two major medical groups — Michigan Association of Family Physicians and the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics –  Thursday urged universal masking in schools.

The statements stopped short of using the words “require” or “mandate” and instead noted that state guidance and that from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics urge universal masking.

Many schools in Michigan have made masks optional as school is set to resume, but some experts say a mandate is necessary.

Related: Michigan recommends masks for businesses, as fears rise of fourth COVID wave

They include Dr. Matthew Sims, an infectious disease expert who studied the effect of mask-wearing during COVID. An infectious disease expert at Beaumont Health, Sims found masks among health care workers early in the pandemic — and before masks were universally required — significantly reduced the transmission of COVID.

Asked during a news conference earlier this week about whether schools should require masks or make them optional, Sims said there is “no reason to take the risk of making this optional.”

“How many 8-year-olds, 10-year-olds, or 13-year-olds or whatever ….are going to really have the understanding to say ‘You know, this is important. I’m going to wear it?’” he said.

Around the nation, parents have packed school board meetings and fired off messages to school boards demanding or protesting against, mask mandates. — Robin Erb


Wednesday, Aug. 11

Cases rise to nearly 1,400 per day

Michigan reported nearly 3,000 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, or an average of 1,393 a day, along with  24 new deaths.

The case count is rising in many parts of the state as the seven-day daily average inched up to 1,164 up from 1,048 on Monday.

Even so, the rise is not as steep as the increases seen in Florida, Texas and other southern states that are experiencing the highest case counts ever recorded in those states.

Related: Michigan GOP school board members lose vote to discourage masks in class

In Michigan, the spring surge and winter surges were far worse. The state averaged 7,000 daily cases.

Still, hospitalizations have jumped considerably with more than 100 new COVID-19 patients reported in hospitals across the state on Wednesday. There are now 859 patients being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19, up from 752 on Monday and 300 a month ago. In April, 4,400 patients were hospitalized.

Testing data released Wednesday showed that about 7 percent of tests are coming back positive, nearly identical to Monday’s rate. It’s far higher than the sub-2 percent low hit in June but well below the highs in the mid-teens in April. — Mike Wilkinson


Monday, Aug. 9

Seven-day average peaks over 1,000

Michigan’s seven-day average of new COVID cases is now more than 1,000 per day, jumping up from just over 500 cases in less than two weeks.

That’s far faster than last year, when it took two months to go from 500 daily cases in July to over 1,000 daily cases in October — and before over 4.6  million people in Michigan had been fully vaccinated.

The numbers rose as Michigan on Monday reported 2,720 new cases over the past three days for a daily average of 907. After a month of reporting new coronavirus data on Tuesdays and Fridays, the state is going to release COVID information on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Related: Michigan’s top doc: COVID vaccines aren’t just about protecting you

The trend shows the potency of the Delta variant, which public health officials say is nearly twice as contagious as the original virus and which is predominantly infecting those who have not been vaccinated.

The virus is far more common in some areas than others, with Branch County in southern Michigan at 32 cases per 100,000, up from 21 the week before. Metro Detroit is now at about 12 cases per 100,000, up from seven the week before.

The increase has triggered a surge in hospitalizations, with the state reporting 752 confirmed or suspected coronavirus patients in hospitals statewide, up 42 percent from 531 on Friday.

For the past week, 7 percent of coronavirus tests have come back positive, up from 6 percent a week ago and 4.25 percent two weeks ago.

Deaths attributed to the virus have not risen in Michigan, but they can typically lag weeks after surges. 

Since Friday there have been eight additional COVID-19 deaths. Since the pandemic began, there have been 19,958 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and another 1,270 probable ones. — Mike Wilkinson

Friday, Aug. 7

Michigan records 3,962 cases over three days

Daily average COVID cases jumped to the highest level in months Friday, when the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services added another 3,962 COVID cases for the second half of the week, or about 1,321 cases a day over a three-day period. 

The new cases bumped the rolling, seven-day average of new infections to 938 a day, a case average not seen since May 25, when Michigan slid off its spring COVID surge, hitting a rolling average of 938 cases a day.

To date, the state has confirmed 910,500 COVID cases.

Related: CDC raises Michigan COVID risk level: Why it matters, and why it may not

It is increasingly clear that the Delta variant, which is much more transmissible than earlier versions of the coronavirus, is fueling the surge, said Kayleigh Blaney, deputy health officer for Genesee County Health Department. 

“We’re really dealing with a different virus here,” she said.

People infected with the virus carry more of it than those infected with other variants of the virus. Additionally, it appears to be being spread even by people who are vaccinated against the virus. The Delta variant is fueling a rise in infections cross the globe. Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deemed Michigan a state with “substantial transmission,” moving it up from a lower risk level of “moderate” transmission.

The state reported no new COVID-linked deaths over the latest three-day period, though it confirmed COVID links in three earlier deaths based on a review of medical records. The total number of deaths linked to COVID-19 now stands at 19,950.

As another sign of increased viral spread, 6.5 percent of people tested for COVID Thursday came back with positive results. Higher positivity rates are associated with broader community spread of the virus. The state’s goal is to keep the positivity rate below 3 percent. It had dropped to 1 percent on June 20. 

Robin Erb


Tuesday, Aug. 3

2,605 cases over four days

Michigan added 2,605 COVID-19 cases and 26 deaths over the past four days on Tuesday, as the number of cases linked to the Delta variant continues to rise.

The Delta variant, considered more transmissible than other COVID variants, has now been confirmed in 233 cases in at least 40 counties throughout Michigan.

The new cases push the seven-day average to 693 — well above the 100 cases the state averaged on July 6 but far below the spring peak of more than 7,000 daily cases.

Related: How bad is COVID? Even the deer test positive in Michigan. (Don’t be alarmed)

Ten of the 26 new deaths linked to COVID were from reviews of prior death records, boosting the total deaths to 19,947 since March 2020.

Meanwhile, 6.6 percent of tests were returned as positive, a rate not seen since mid-May as Michigan came off its third COVID wave. 

And while hospitalizations remained low compared to earlier waves, they climbed to 513 from 407 on Friday.

The increases have prompted some employers to reinstate mask mandates, while Michigan State University, University of Michigan and Wayne State University have announced they will require vaccines for on-campus students and staff — Robin Erb


Tuesday, Aug. 3

Big Three auto makers reinstate mask mandate

The Detroit Three auto manufacturers will require workers to wear masks beginning Wednesday.

The new order includes workers in all plants, offices and warehouses, regardless of vaccination status, according to a statement by the COVID-19 Joint Task Force, which is consists of the United Auto Workers union, Ford, General Motors and Stellantis.

The Tuesday order follows new guidance from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention that recommends the use of masks indoors in areas of “high” or “significant” transmission, even by vaccinated people.

Related: Wayne State University issues vaccine mandate; Central Michigan requires masks

The highly transmissible Delta variant has fueled surges nationwide and is taking hold in Michigan, perhaps helping fuel the state’s climbing case rate and positive test results.

Thirty-three of Michigan’s 83 counties now are deemed to have high or significant transmission. They do not include the four counties in metro Detroit, but the numbers have increased quickly.

“While we know that masks can be uncomfortable, the spread of the Delta variant and recent data outlining the alarmingly high rate of transmission among those unvaccinated is a serious health threat,” read a statement released by the automaker task force. It also “strongly” encouraged members, coworkers and their families to be vaccinated. — Robin Erb


Friday, July 30

Cases average 573 per day

COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations continue to rise in Michigan, though still nowhere at the peak levels that overwhelmed the state this spring and last fall.

On Friday, the seven-day rolling average of confirmed COVID cases reached 573 a day, as the state added 2,250 confirmed cases over the past three days, or about 750 per day. Those cases brought the total of confirmed infections to 903,933 since the beginning of the pandemic.

The state added another 19 deaths, including 10 from a review of previous death records, pushing the total to 19,921.

The percent of COVID tests returned with positive results inched up to 5.5 percent. Positivity is an indicator of community spread of the virus, and the state’s goal is to keep it below 3 percent. It had dropped to 1 percent on June 20.

Related: CDC recommends masks in 11 Michigan counties. Most have low inoculation rates

As of Friday, 407 patients were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID,  up from 293 on July 9 but well shy of the peak of 4,422 patients on April 19.

The uptick may be driven in part by the more transmissible Delta variant. As of Friday, 182 cases — more than double the 81 cases a week ago — had been confirmed through genetic sequencing among a sampling of COVID tests. Still, the numbers might be increasing, too, because more samples are being submitted for testing, according to state health spokesperson Chelsea Wuth.

Detroit and its three surrounding counties accounted for 55 of the Delta cases, and Branch County — which has the highest case count overall in the state now — accounted for 12 Delta cases. All told, the variant has been confirmed in three dozens of counties scattered throughout Michigan, including its Upper Peninsula.

Driven by the trends, the University of Michigan and Michigan State University announced Friday they will require the COVID vaccine of its employees.

“The data associated with the vaccine has strongly clarified its impact in terms of reducing severe infections, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19,” Dr. David Miller, president of the University of Michigan Health System, said to Bridge Michigan.

At least seven large hospital systems have such requirements now. — Robin Erb


Thursday, July 29

Spectrum, Beaumont require employee vaccines

Pushed in part by the highly transmissible Delta variant, two more Michigan health systems will require workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Southfield-based Beaumont Health will require “all employees and providers who practice medicine or work at Beaumont facilities” to be vaccinated once the U.S. Food & Drug Administration fully approves a vaccine — a decision expected later this year.

Grand Rapids-based Spectrum Health also announced its requirement Wednesday, mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for “team members, medical staff, students, volunteers and contractors.”

Both systems will require the vaccine within weeks of FDA approval. The three vaccines now available have been passed only “emergency use authorization” through an expedited federal vetting process.

Leaders of the 14-hospital system Spectrum made the decision after  “robust conversations,” according to President and CEO Tina Freese Decker. But, she added, Spectrum is a health organization whose workers “support the science.”

Beaumont CEO John Fox called the requirement “essential and continues our commitment to protecting and serving all Michiganders.”

“Those who choose not to be vaccinated will no longer be allowed to work at Beaumont,” according to the Beaumont statement which quoted Fox.

Between them, the two hospitals employ more than 64,000 people.

The decision follows the recommendation by the American Hospital Association as well as the American Medical Association and dozens of other medical associations.

Earlier this month, Trinity Health, a Livonia-based, national health care system, announced it would require vaccines of all its “colleagues, clinical staff, contractors, and those conducting business in its health care facilities.” The Trinity decision affected more than 117,000 employees in 22 states, including about 24,000 working in Michigan. And in June, Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System became the first health system in Michigan to require staff-wide vaccinations against COVID-19.  — Robin Erb


Tuesday, July 27

Positivity rate hits 5 percent

One in 20 COVID tests for COVID were positive in the past four days in Michigan — the highest in more than two months, fueling fears the virus may once again be tightening its grip.

Positive tests hit 5.1 percent as of Monday, according to the most recent data by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The rate has had an incrementally small, but undeniable, increase, since late June, when positivity rates dipped as low as 1 percent from a high of 17.9 percent during the April surge.

The last time positivity rates were that high was May 21, when 5.3 percent of cases were being returned positive. At the time, Michigan was exiting its third wave of cases.

Related: CDC recommends indoor mask use. But don’t expect mandates in Michigan

On Tuesday, Michigan also added 1,762 cases over the last four days, or an average of 441 cases a day, pushing the total since the start of the pandemic to 901,683. Officials also added 19 deaths, including 15 from a review of past death records, bringing the total to 19,902 linked to COVID in Michigan.

The tallies came the same day the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed course and recommended that Americans — even those who are fully vaccinated — wear masks indoors in areas with high transmission rates. 

Michigan’s hospitals were caring for 385 patients with confirmed or suspected COVID, the highest number since June 23, as those patient numbers continued to fall following the third COVID wave in Michigan. Three weeks later, the state’s hospitals were caring for just 211 patients, but those numbers have generally climbed with each new data report since then.

The vaccination rate in Michigan has slowed significantly, as just under 60 percent among those 16 and older have received an initial dose. — Robin Erb


Friday, July 23

1,295 cases over three days

Coronavirus cases have reached their highest point in six weeks, with the state on Friday reporting 1,295 new cases over the past three days.

The totals mean the state is averaging 432 cases per day, just one week after it was averaging 294 per day. The new cases bring the seven-day average of cases to 332, up from 273 on Tuesday.

It’s the highest seven-day average since June 8, when it was 354 per day. Since then, cases have dropped nearly every day, falling to 110 cases per day on June 28.

Related: Up to 400K COVID vaccines set to expire in Michigan. Few want them.

The increase comes as cases are rising nationwide, but remain low compared to earlier in the pandemic. On April 13, Michigan had a high of 7,014 cases.

The increase blamed largely on those who have not been vaccinated: 59.4 percent of Michiganders 16 and older had a first dose of a vaccine as of Friday, while 3 in 10 of those 12 to 15 years-old have done so, according to state records.

Perhaps most worrisome, the percent of tests with positive results reached 4.7 percent Thursday. COVID test results are an indicator of community spread, and Michigan has set a goal of keeping positive results to 3 percent or below.

Positive test results had remained low — at 2 percent or below — throughout the last three weeks of June and the first week of July. But on July 12, they hit 2.4 percent and have remained at that percent or higher for all but one day since then.

Michigan also reported 21 days over the past three days on Friday, including a seven from a review of death records, while 317 patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 were in state hospitals. — Robin Erb


Tuesday, July 20

Michigan adds 1,028 cases over four days

Michigan added 1,028 COVID-19 cases Tuesday over the past four days, pushing the seven-day daily average to 273 and bringing the statewide total to 898,626 since the pandemic began.

The case average has dropped a hair from Friday and remains far below the 7,014 daily peak on April 13. But cases have crept up since hitting a low of 110 on June 28.

Michigan, which is reporting data twice a week, also added another 14 deaths for the last four-day period, but all came from a review of death records. That brought the total number of deaths linked to COVID to 19,862.

Related: Michigan unemployment benefits secure for those who ‘followed the rules’

Statewide, 352 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, 48 more than Friday. In all, though, fewer than 400 people have been hospitalized with suspected or confirmed COVID since June 22. 

While cases remain low, experts continue to monitor the Delta coronavirus variant, which is surging cases elsewhere and which a World Health Organization official this week said is the most transmissible. 

In Michigan, as of Tuesday, 71 cases had been identified in sequencing samples from tests that were positive. Those cases are among the 13,772 cases in Michigan confirmed as one of a handful of four “variants of concern” the state now tracks.

Variants of concern are those that are believed more transmissible than the original coronavirus that tore through Michigan last spring.

As of Tuesday, about 4.6 million Michiganders of the 8.6 million Michiganders 12 and older, or about 53 percent, were fully vaccinated. Just more than 57 percent were fully vaccinated, according to state data. — Robin Erb


Friday, July 16

COVID cases inch up, still low

Amid mostly good news, COVID-19 cases are tracking upward again in Michigan after steady declines.

On Friday, the state reported 881 cases for the previous three days, an average of 294 per day. The state also reported 16 deaths over the past three days, including seven after a review of previous death records.

Case numbers overall remain low, as do the positivity rate of COVID tests and number of hospitalizations. As of Thursday, 2.4 percent of tests were positive, within the state’s goal of remaining at 3 percent or below.

Related: Did COVID fuel drug overdoses? Michigan deaths surged last year.

Meanwhile, 304 people were in Michigan hospitals for suspected or confirmed COVID. That’s 25 more than on Tuesday, the last day the state released data, but still well below the peak of 4,422 people in April.

The Delta variant, the cause of surges elsewhere, remains low in Michigan. In genetic sequencing of COVID samples, at least 13,464 variants of concern — those believed to be most transmissible — have been identified in Michigan. The Delta variant accounted for 1.7 percent of those cases, according to a weekly state report.  — Robin Erb


Tuesday, July 13

Hospitalization at lowest level of pandemic

A week after a long Independence Day weekend, the number of patients hospitalized with COVID -19 has dropped to the lowest level of the pandemic, while daily cases fell to an average of 163 since Thursday.

Michigan on Tuesday reported 650 total cases over the previous four days, down from an average of 224 per day last week. That pushed the state total to 896,717 cases since the pandemic began. In all, 279 people remained hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID, down from a high of 4,422 April 19.

Related: Michigan Republicans poised to strip Gov. Whitmer of emergency powers

Michigan also reported 31 deaths; all but four of which followed a review of previous death records. The state’s vaccination rate has inched up slightly to 62 percent.

Meanwhile, the number of tests that were returned with positive results — an indicator of community spread — climbed slightly. But at 2.4 percent, the positive rate remains below the 3 percent threshold the state has set as a goal to be at or below.  — Robin Erb


Friday, July 9

Cases inch up to 224 per day

Coronavirus cases jumped slightly over the past three days, a worrisome trend but still far below the peaks of the pandemic, according to new data released Friday by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The state reported 672 cases Friday covering three days, or about 224 cases a day for that period. That increase has brought the daily, rolling average of cases from a low of 110 on June 28 to 159 as of Friday. In contrast, the rolling average of cases peaked April 13, when the state was averaging 7,014 cases a day.

Related: Is the Michigan vaccine lottery working? Depends how you define success.

The state also recorded 26 more deaths Friday, including 18 from a review of vital records on past deaths that were later linked to COVID. Michigan now has a total of 19,801 deaths linked to COVID-19 throughout the pandemic.

Though the daily cases reveal a worrisome climb, 1.7 percent of COVID tests returned with positive results, according to Friday’s data. That indicates low community spread of the virus and is well below the 3 percent threshold the state has set as a goal to be at or below. — Robin Erb


Thursday, July 8 

Vaccinate or find another job, Trinity Health tells staff

Trinity Health, a Michigan-based, national health care system, Thursday announced it will require COVID vaccines of all its “colleagues, clinical staff, contractors, and those conducting business in its health care facilities.”

The decision by Livonia-based Trinity affects more than 117,000 employees in 22 states, including about 24,000 working in Michigan. Those who don’t comply will lose their jobs, according to a statement released Thursday by the system.

It’s announcement follows a similar one in late June by Henry Ford Health System, the first health system in Michigan to require staff-wide vaccinations against COVID-19.

Related: Is the Michigan vaccine lottery working? Depends how you define success.

Trinity in Michigan operates five Saint Joseph Mercy Health System hospitals, three Mercy Health hospitals, and two employed medical groups, IHA and Mercy Health Physician Partners.

The faith-based health system has “pledged to protect the most vulnerable, those that have a high risk of developing severe health complications if they were to contract this deadly virus,” Rob Casalou, president and CEO of Trinity Health Michigan and Southeast Regions, said in the statement.

Though there will undoubtedly be pushback, he said, “we know this to be the right decision.”

Bobby Maldonado, a Trinity spokesperson, told Bridge that exemptions “will be made for those who have medical conditions that prohibit vaccination and those with strongly held religious beliefs. These exemptions must be formally requested, documented and approved prior to set deadlines.”

Nearly 3-in-4 Trinity Health employees already are vaccinated, according to Trinity’s estimates.

Most employees will be required to submit proof of vaccination by Sept. 21 with the possibility of submitting proof in the future if a vaccine booster is required. - Robin Erb


Tuesday, July 6

Michigan averaging just over 100 cases a day

Michigan reported Tuesday an average of 109 COVID-19 cases over the past four days, or 438 total. The state also reported 21 additional COVID-19 deaths.

Beginning Tuesday, the state is only going to update coronavirus statistics on cases, deaths, hospitalizations and vaccinations on Tuesdays and Fridays. The decision came after recent weeks in which daily cases and deaths fell to the lowest levels since the pandemic began.

Of the 21 deaths, 16 were earlier deaths that were determined to be linked to COVID after a review of medical and health records.

Related: Expanded outdoor dining ‘here to stay’ in Michigan restaurants after COVID

The state also reported that 1.7 percent of 32,500 tests came back positive over the past four days. For the past week, 1.7 percent of all tests have been positive, up from 1.2 percent for the previous week but still well below the state’s goal of keeping the rate at or below 3 percent.

Just over 300 patients — 309 — are currently being treated in Michigan hospitals for confirmed or suspected COVID-19. That’s up slightly from 299 on July 2 though still among the lowest patient census since the state began reporting COVID-19 hospitalizations. — Mike Wilkinson


Friday, July 2

101 cases, no deaths; declines prompt state to curtail reporting

Beginning Tuesday, Michigan public officials will only report coronavirus data twice a week, citing continual declines in cases.

For most of the pandemic, the state has reported data six days a week, but recently stopped Saturday reporting. Beginning next week, the state will update its cases, deaths and vaccination data on Tuesdays and Fridays.

“As case and vaccination rates have slowed across the state, we have made the decision to reflect this change in the pandemic by reducing the number of days data is posted,” said Lynn Sutfin, a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Related: A child mental-health fix takes early action, more help. Here are 7 ideas.

“We will not lose any of this information as data by day will still be available, however, it will now be posted online twice a week.”

The state reported 101 new infections on Friday, bringing the seven-day average to 144 cases. That is among the lowest levels since the first weeks after the pandemic began in March 2020.

There were no new COVID-19 deaths reported Friday and the overall number of deaths fell by four because of changes made by local health departments, Sutfin said.

In the worst weeks in November and April, the state reported an average of 7,000 cases a day and nearly 150 deaths a day.

As vaccinations ramped up — over 62 percent of residents 16 and older have had at least one dose of the vaccines —  the state averaged 11 COVID-19 deaths a day in the past month and the average number of cases has fallen from 466 on June 1 to 144 on Friday. — Mike Wilkinson


Thursday, July 1

Cases inch up to 228

New confirmed coronavirus infections rose for the third straight day in Michigan on Thursday, with the state reporting 228 cases.

That has pushed the seven-day average up to 135; it had hit a low of 110 on Monday.

Nearly half of the cases — 106 — occurred in suburban Wayne County, excluding Detroit. The next highest number was 18 in Detroit and then 11 cases in Oakland County.

A spokesperson for Wayne County said the increase in the county was driven by a laboratory which reported a batch of results that were three months old. Prior to Thursday, Wayne County had averaged 29 cases a day over the previous two weeks.

There have now been 894,856 confirmed cases. Combined with 105,385 probable cases, there are now more than  1 million confirmed or suspected cases. Health experts, however, believe even that number is a vast undercount because many people — especially early in the pandemic — were unable to get tested.

Related: 

Overall, rates remain incredibly low across Michigan with 78 of the 83 counties reporting five or fewer cases (and 46 had none).

The state reported a net of 10 new deaths, including 14 that came after a review of medical records. At least four deaths were removed from consideration as COVID-19 deaths, which happens when local health departments review cases, according to a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

There was an abrupt uptick in the percent of coronavirus tests coming back positive, with 2.6 percent of nearly 14,200 cases reported Thursday coming back positive. The rate was 1.1 percent on Wednesday and has not been above 2 percent since June 11.

That bump in positive tests was largely driven by Wayne County as well, where the weekly positive rate jumped to 3.2 percent, up from 1.1 percent the previous week.

The statewide weekly rate rose to 1.4 percent — up from 1.2 percent — but still well below the 3 percent threshold the state has set as a goal to be at or below. A low positivity rate indicates little community spread of the virus. — Mike Wilkinson


Wednesday, June 30

195 new cases and four deaths

Michigan public health officials reported 195 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, along with four additional COVID-19 deaths. It marks the second straight day in which there was a small increase in cases following weeks of dramatic reductions.

The new case count raised the daily average to 125 over the past week, up from 122 on Tuesday but still among the lowest levels reported since the first few weeks of the pandemic.

Related: Mental health crisis: Children at breaking point during COVID

Of more than 15,800 COVID tests reported Wednesday, 1.1 percent came back positive and the weekly rate of 1.2 percent has remained unchanged for 10 days.

There are now 326 patients being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 in Michigan hospitals, the lowest level since the state began reporting hospital data last year .— Mike Wilkinson


Tuesday, June 29

174 new cases Tuesday, a slight increase

Michigan reported 174 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, the first increase in five days

That pushed the seven-day average up to 120 daily cases from 110, the first daily rise of more than one case in 74 days. The daily average, however, remains among the lowest recorded since after the first few weeks of the pandemic in March 2020.

Of 9,500 tests reported Tuesday, 1.6 percent were positive, the highest percentage since it was 1.8 percent on June 14. The weekly rate remains at 1.2 percent — still well below the state’s goal of 3 percent. No county’s rate is above 5.5 percent (Huron). 

Related: Michigan’s top doc urges schools to require facemasks in the fall

Hospitalizations ticked up slightly, from 327 to 352 statewide, with small increases in six of eight regions across the state. Monday’s total had been the fewest the state had reported since it began reporting hospitalizations.

When cases have been low, there have been fluctuations based on which hospitals report daily. On Tuesday, the state reported a 90 percent response rate from hospitals. — Mike Wilkinson


Monday, June 28

State averages 104 cases per day

Michigan reported 311 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend, or 104 cases per day., and a total of five deaths.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 894,260 confirmed cases and 19,712 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

Cases have fallen precipitously in the past two months: Over the past week, the average rate of daily new cases was 1 or 2 per 100,000 residents in metro Detroit’s three most populous counties, Wayne, Oakland and Macomb. The rate ranged from 6 to 10 per 100,000 last month, and 40 to 49 per 100,000 in April.

Related: Michigan nears 1 million COVID cases. These numbers define the pandemic.

The drop in hospitalizations continued as well, with 327 COVID-19 patients statewide as of Monday. A month ago, there were nearly 1,200 COVID-19 patients, while two months ago, there were nearly 3,500.

Of 35,000 tests reported Monday, just 1.2 percent came back positive, mirroring the average of the past week. That's  well below the state’s goal of 3 percent. — Mike Wilkinson


Friday, June 25

40 cases reported in Michigan

For the first time after the first two weeks of the pandemic, Michigan reported fewer than 50 new COVID-19 cases on Friday.

Officials recorded 40 cases, with Oakland County leading the state with 17. Just two weeks ago, three counties (Oakland, Kent and Wayne) all had more than 40 cases.

Related: For Michigan's long-haul COVID survivors, pandemic is far from over

Detroit, which has had over 53,700 cases in total, reported just six on Friday; 41 counties reported no new cases.

The statewide count is a steep drop from 739 cases a month ago and 3,262 daily cases two months ago.

The numbers reflect the consistent drop in new cases as just over 1 percent of all daily coronavirus tests are coming back positive.

The state report 15 additional COVID-19 deaths on Friday. — Mike Wilkinson


Thursday, June 24

153 new cases 

Michigan reported 153 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday and 28 deaths, including 24 that came after a review of medical and death records.

That brings the total to 999,052 total cases (893,909 confirmed cases and 105,143 probable ones) and 20,945 deaths (19,692 confirmed and 1,253 probable) since the pandemic began.

Of just over 16,800 new coronavirus tests reported Thursday, 1.1 percent came back positive. Over the past week, 1.2 percent have been positive, well below the state’s target of 3 percent.

As of Wednesday, 61.3 percent of adults 16 and older have had at least one dose of the vaccine, nearly 5 million residents.

While some states have offered million-dollar lotteries to encourage vaccination, Michigan has had lower-stakes incentives.

On Wednesday, the Oakland County Health Division said it will give $50 gift cards to any county resident who gets their first COVID-19 vaccine from June 24 until July 4. More than 68 percent of county residents 16 and over have so far gotten at least one dose.

The county, the second most-populous in the state with over 1.25 million people, wants to encourage younger residents to get vaccinated. Seventy-two percent of Oakland County residents 30 and older have received at least their first dose, while 54 percent of those 16-29 years old have done so, according to the county. — Mike Wilkinson


Wednesday, June 23

Michigan reports 174 cases, two deaths

Michigan reported 174 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday and two deaths.

There have now been 893,756 confirmed cases of the virus and 105,121 probable cases, and 19,664 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and another 1,250 probable deaths.

But new infections have waned, with an average of just 132 cases a day for the past week and 41 counties averaging zero cases per 100,000 people over the past week.

Of just over 16,900 new coronavirus tests, 1.1 percent came back positive.

There are now 362 patients being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 in Michigan hospitals. — Mike Wilkinson


Tuesday, June 22

Just 91 new cases in Michigan

Michigan public health officials reported just 91 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, the lowest single-day report since the first few weeks of the pandemic.

And for the past week, there have been 931 infections — the first weekly total below 1,000 since those early days.

Those are both encouraging signs that point to the continued fading of the coronavirus. A year ago cases fell precipitously with the warmer weather but most people were still wearing masks and there were capacity restrictions on businesses that limited direct contact.

Related: Michigan drops COVID-19 safety restrictions in most workplaces

Now, with over 5 million Michigan adults receiving at least one dose of a vaccine, rates have fallen even further as the state ends mask mandates and all restrictions on indoor capacities for businesses.

Michigan also reported 15 additional COVID-19 deaths Tuesday, an indication that though fewer are getting the disease, it does remain dangerous for those who do.

There were 393 people treated in Michigan hospitals Tuesday for confirmed or suspected COVID-19, the fewest number ever reported by the state. Testing data showed that 1.3 percent of 11,000 tests came back positive. — Mike Wilkinson


Monday, June 21

Michigan records fewest cases over any three days of pandemic

Michigan has recorded 327 new coronavirus cases since Friday, or 109 a day, the fewest ever reported over three days since the first two weeks of the pandemic in 2020.

The state reported cases on Monday covering three days — Saturday, Sunday and Monday — after discontinuing Saturday reporting. That decision comes as cases have become far fewer across the state, with positive coronavirus tests becoming rare as well.

Related: Are your neighbors vaccinated? Michigan map shows rates by census tracts

Over the past three days, 41,154 coronavirus tests were reported and 485 were positive or 1.2 percent.

There were 35 new COVID-19 deaths reported as well, or about 12 for each of the three days. Also, there are now fewer people in Michigan hospitals being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 than at any point since hospital data was reported, with 421 patients statewide. — Mike Wilkinson


Saturday, June 19

State stops reporting weekend data

With COVID-19 cases falling to lows not reported in a year, the state has discontinued weekend updates on new cases, deaths and testing, officials announced Saturday.

On Friday, the state reported 162 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the seven-day average to 176 per day, mirroring lows seen last June.

The state reported 14 additional COVID-19 deaths on Friday. There have now been 19,612 confirmed COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began in March 2020.

The state reported 1.2 percent of nearly 19,400 tests came back positive. The weekly rate was 1.4 percent, the lowest ever recorded.

There are now 436 people being treated in Michigan hospitals for confirmed or suspected COVID-19. On June 1 there were 1,007. A month ago, there were 1,807 COVID-19 patients in Michigan. — Mike Wilkinson 


Thursday, June 17

COVID-19 cases fall again with 172 reported

Michigan reported 172 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday and has now averaged 198 a day for the past week.

Of nearly 21,300 COVID tests reported Thursday, just 1.1 percent came back positive. That’s the same rate as Wednesday and both are the lowest the state has reported since the pandemic began last year.

Related: This is it: Michigan to end gathering, mask rules on Tuesday

The state also reported 20 new COVID-19 deaths, 18 of which followed a review of medical and death records.

Over the past week, the state has reported 111 COVID-19 deaths, the lowest weekly number since mid-October. At the height of the winter-spring surge, the state was reporting more than 400 a week in May. The weekly toll was over 800 in December and exceeded 900 in some weeks in April 2020. — Mike Wilkinson


Wednesday, June 16

Michigan records lowest positivity rate 

Michigan reported that just 1.1 percent of nearly 17,000 coronavirus tests came back positive Wednesday, the lowest daily positive rate the state has reported since the pandemic began. The weekly rate is now 1.6 percent, also the lowest ever as the rates continue to fall.

A low positive rate indicates less community spread of COVID-19.

Other pandemic metrics continue to trend in a hopeful away across the state.

Related: Coming soon: Struggling Michigan movie theaters await end of COVID limits

For the first time since mid-June 2020, Michigan has reported fewer than 200 new COVID-19 infections for five consecutive days.

The state reported 179 cases Wednesday, and has not reported more than 200 since 318 cases were reported last Friday. That last happened June 12-16, 2020.

The state also reported four new COVID-19 deaths Wednesday.

There are now 494 patients being treated at hospitals across Michigan for confirmed or suspected COVID-19, the lowest level in nearly a year. There were 471 COVID-19 patients in Michigan hospitals on June 29, 2020.— Mike Wilkinson


Tuesday, June 15

 182 new cases, 26 deaths as cases continue to plummet

Health departments across Michigan reported a total of 182 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, along with 26 COVID-19 deaths.

The state is now averaging 228 cases per day over the past week. A month ago the daily average was 1,713.

Of the 26 deaths, 19 came after a review of death and medical records. Two of the deaths were from May but the rest have occurred in June.

Related: Why is Detroit Police Department’s vaccination rate only 39 percent?

The state also reported that 1.8 percent of nearly 13,700 coronavirus tests came back positive and over the past week, 1.7 percent have been positive, well below the state’s goal of keeping that rate at or below 3 percent. — Mike Wilkinson


Monday, June 14

Whitmer hints restrictions may end early

Michigan public health officials reported more encouraging news Monday regarding COVID-19, with cases and hospitalizations showing continued declines and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer hinted Monday that she might lift remaining safety restrictions before July 1.

The state reported 338 new coronavirus infections, an average of just 169 on Sunday and Monday, pushing the seven-day daily average to 244.

The state also reported eight new COVID-19 deaths over the two-day period.

Whitmer had relaxed many state restrictions as of June 1 but a few, including some capacity restrictions on indoor venues, remain, along with an indoor mask mandate for the unvaccinated.

All are set to expire July 1.

Related: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer: All COVID restrictions to end in Michigan on July 1

When asked Monday if they could expire before then, Whitmer said: “It’s possible. Stay tuned.”

Whitmer had intended to tie the loosening of restrictions to increases in the rate of COVID-19 vaccinations across the state. But as those stalled — and cases and hospitalizations fell — she accelerated the schedule for easing restrictions.

Since then, the news has gotten even better on all fronts. Vaccinations have risen, albeit slowly, as cases, deaths, positivity rates and hospitalizations have gone down.

For instance, Whitmer has wanted to keep the positive coronavirus test rate at or below 3 percent and over the past two days and 32,000 tests, just 1.2 percent of COVID tests have come back positive. For the past week, 1.7 percent have been positive.

There are now 533 patients being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 in Michigan hospitals, down 122 from last Friday and 250 over the past week. The last time it was this low was when there were 506 COVID-19 patients on Sept. 25, just before the fall and winter surge. — Mike Wilkinson and Sergio Martínez-Beltrán


Saturday, June 12 

Michigan now 10 percent below 70 percent vaccine goal 

Michigan reported 198 new COVID-19 cases Saturday, marking the ninth consecutive day that daily cases remained under 500.

The seven day average dropped to 255 — the lowest since June 29, 2020 when it was 236. 

Also, 53 additional deaths were reported, with 50 of them being added after a review of medical records. 

The state’s test positivity rate remained under 3 percent for the eleventh day in a row at 2 percent. A low positivity rate indicates little community spread of the virus. 

As cases continue to decrease, Michigan remains roughly 10 percent short of its goal of 70 percent of residents age 16 or older getting at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by July 4.  — Sophia Kalakailo


Friday, June 11

Weekly COVID cases lowest since June 2020 

Michigan recorded fewer than 2,000 new COVID-19 infections in the week ending Friday, the fewest in any week since June of 2020 as the spread of the deadly disease continues to slow.

The state reported 318 new cases on Friday, pushing the seven-day total to 1,976.

Two weeks ago, the state reported more than 4,500 weekly cases and a month ago it was nearly 15,400. At the peak of the winter-spring surge, the state recorded 49,101 new infections the week ending April 13 — 25 times more than were reported this past week.

The state also reported eight newly confirmed COVID-19 deaths on Friday, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 19,487. There have been 891,933 confirmed cases of coronavirus during the pandemic.

The positive COVID test rate for 20,000 tests recorded Friday was just 1.6 percent, the lowest since the pandemic began. For the past week the rate is 1.9 percent, also the lowest ever. A lower positive test rate indicates less community spread of the virus.

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 fell again as well, with 655 patients being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 on Friday. That’s 221 fewer than a week ago and the lowest since Sept. 28, when 647 were hospitalized. A month ago, there were nearly 2,300 COVID-19 patients being treated in Michigan hospitals.

The promising news comes as the rate of new vaccinations continues to fall. As of Friday, nearly 5 million Michigan residents — 61.4 percent of everyone 16 and older — have had at least one dose of the vaccines. But over the past week, just 64,700 have gotten at least a first shot.

The week before, 75,400 did. And two weeks ago, nearly 173,000 people were given at least their first dose. — Mike Wilkinson


Thursday, June 10 

Michigan has 301 new cases; positive rate falls to 1.7 percent 

Michigan public health officials reported 301 new COVID-19 infections and 40 deaths Thursday, including 28 that were determined after a review of medical and death records. Two of those deaths occurred in April, eight in May and the rest in June.

Michigan’s seven-day average is now 301 daily cases, while the rate of positive coronavirus tests remains at historic lows, with 1.7 percent positive. The weekly rate is 2 percent, the lowest recorded since the pandemic began in 2020.

A month ago, Michigan had the nation’s highest rates of new cases and hospitalizations and the second-highest rate of positive tests, 8.1 percent.

On Thursday, the state ranked 35th in cases per 100,000, 30th in percent of positive coronavirus tests but still sixth in hospitalizations.

With 61.2 percent of everyone 16 and older having gotten at least 1 dose of the vaccines, Michigan ranks 28th in vaccination rate. — Mike Wilkinson


Wednesday, June 9

Historic low in positive test rates

Over the past week, just 2.1 percent of all Michigan coronavirus tests have come back positive, the lowest weekly rate recorded in the state since the pandemic began in March 2020.

It closely mirrors a dip in positive test rates in mid-June of last year, when it stood at 2.2 percent, as summer temperatures allowed people to spend more time outside, where it’s more difficult for COVID-19 to spread. And of course this summer, there’s the critical added benefit of more than 60 percent of Michigan’s population 16 and over having received at least one dose of a vaccine. 

This week’s rate was helped by just 1.8 percent of the daily tests Wednesday coming back positive.

The state reported 257 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, with a daily average over the past week of 330 cases. Seven new COVID-19 deaths were also reported. — Mike Wilkinson


Tuesday, June 8 

293 new cases; COVID decline mirrors similar drop in June 2020

The steep drop in new COVID-19 infections in Michigan is mirroring the drop from a year ago, as the state reported 293 new cases Tuesday.

That puts the seven-day average at 353 cases a day, a level last recorded in July 2020. Last year, long before the vaccines were even developed, case rates plummeted after the state was pounded in March, April and May.

Part of the decline then was attributed to restrictions put in place by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer but also to warmer weather, with more people meeting outside — where the coronavirus is less likely to spread — than inside.

And after Michigan experienced the worst spike in cases in the winter and early spring, cases have similarly fallen. The state also has additional protection it did not have in 2020 — 61 percent of all residents 16 and older now have had at least one dose of the vaccines.

In recent weeks Whitmer has relaxed many of the remaining restrictions and all others are set to expire on July 1.

The virus, though, remains deadly: The state reported 56 additional COVID-19 deaths, 37 of which came after a review of medical and death records.

Fewer Michigan residents are seeking coronavirus tests — there were just 15,000 reported on Tuesday, down from a daily average of 34,700 a month ago — and just 2.2 percent of those were positive. The state has hoped to keep the percent positive at 3 percent or lower.

Many schools that were regularly testing athletes are no longer doing so, lowering the number of tests being administered.

Hospitalizations continue to fall as well, declining from 2,611 COVID-19 patients last month to 756 patients now. — Mike Wilkinson

Monday, June 7

COVID positive rate stays below 3 percent

The percent of new coronavirus tests coming back positive in Michigan has remained below 3 percent for the past six days, levels not seen in nearly a year. Daily case counts of COVID-19 also continue to fall.

Of more than 19,100 COVID-19 tests reported Monday, just 2 percent came back positive, indicating a low level of community spread of the virus.

The state also reported just 419 new infections Sunday and Monday, or just 210 a day, a level not recorded since June 22-23 of last year.

Related: Whitmer: Use stimulus to give Michigan $15 minimum wage, aid business

For the past week, Michigan is averaging 353 new cases a day; a month ago it was averaging 2,836 cases a day. The rate of new cases per 100,000 is falling in 82 of the state’s 83 counties. Only in St. Joseph County did the rate rise, albeit slightly: from 8 cases per 100,000 per day to 10 per 100,000. Statewide, the rate is 4 new cases per 100,000 per day.

The number of patients being treated at hospitals across the state for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 fell by 93 since Friday to 783 statewide Monday. It’s the fewest COVID-19 patients since there were 707 on Oct. 2. — Mike Wilkinson


Saturday, June 5

388 new cases; Michigan's weekly average lowest in 11 months

Michigan’s COVID-19 positive test rate has stayed below 3 percent since Wednesday.

The state reported Friday the positive test rate was 2.2 percent. The state’s goal is to maintain a positivity rate of 3 percent or lower. A lower rate indicates it is less likely the virus will spread widely.

On Saturday, Michigan reported 388 COVID-19 cases, bringing the seven-day average to 375, the lowest since July 5.

Officials also reported 72 deaths Saturday, 66 of which were added after a review of medical records. That brings the state’s death total to 19,365 since the beginning of the pandemic. — Sophia Kalakailo


Friday, June 4

466 new cases

The coronavirus continues to lose its grip in Michigan, according to data released Friday by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The 446 new cases reported Friday tamped down the daily average for the past seven days to 383 — the lowest since July 6. Daily average cases peaked April 13 at 7,014, but have decreased every day since then but one.

Related: As office workers return, a Grand Rapids dry cleaner scrimps to hang on

And for more than 30 days, the number of hospital patients with confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 also decreased. On Friday, the state’s hospitals recorded 876 such patients, compared with a high of 4,422 on April 19.

Another 27 deaths, however, were linked to COVID-19, according to the Friday data, bringing the total number of recorded Michigan deaths to 19,293. — Robin Erb


Thursday, June 3

COVID test positivity rate now below 3 percent

For the first time since last September, less than 3 percent of Michigan coronavirus tests came back positive Thursday, the state reported.

Of nearly 22,000 tests reported, just 2.4 percent were positive. A lower percent indicates less likelihood of community spread of the virus. The rate reported Thursday is below the state’s goal of keeping the positivity rate below 3 percent. 

Related: Michigan health chief: COVID death count in long-term facilities may be ‘low’

The last time it hit 2.4 percent was Sept. 25, just before the fall surge of COVID-19 swept the state.

Michigan also reported 510 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, with the seven-day daily average of new cases now standing at 407. 

There were 57 COVID-19 deaths reported Thursday and the number of hospitalized patients being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 around the state fell to 917 from 965 on Wednesday. — Mike Wilkinson


Wednesday, June 2

Hospitalizations fall below 1,000 in Michigan, down from 3,000 in May

The number of COVID-19 patients in Michigan hospitals fell to 965 on Wednesday, down from more than 3,000 in May and the first time since mid-March there are fewer than 1,000 hospitalizations from the virus.

The decline coincides with a steep drop in infections. The state reported 420 new cases Wednesday, pushing the seven-day average to 412. On May 2, the state averaged nearly 3,500 cases a day.

The last time the average daily cases were around 400 was in early July 2020.

Related: COVID supercharged Upper Peninsula travel. Looks like it’s going to last.

The state’s vaccination rate is now 60.3 percent of those 16 and older.

For the seventh consecutive day, the percent of new coronavirus tests came back below 4 percent. It was 3.4 percent on Wednesday and 3.6 percent over the past week. The state’s goal is to keep the rate at 3 percent or lower, a level the state will soon reach.

But the state also reported 33 additional COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday.

Since the pandemic began, 19,209 people have died from COVID-19, including 3,841 since the third wave began in mid-February. Those third-wave deaths are nearly 1,000 more than died of diabetes, the seventh leading cause of death in Michigan, in all of 2019. — Mike Wilkinson


Tuesday, June 1

287 cases per day over long weekend

Michigan continues to report steep declines in COVID-19 cases, with 862 new ones over the Memorial Day holiday, or 287 per day.

That's a level not recorded since last July, and the drop comes as testing is falling fast as well. Fewer than 10,000 new tests were reported in the past day, a level that hasn’t been lower since May 2020. 

Over all three days, 3.2 percent tests came back positive, which is close to the state’s goal of 3 percent or less.

Related: Q&A: Michigan fitness club owner says how industry must change after COVID

Michigan also reported just 13 COVID-19 deaths, for an average of less than five per day over the past three days. 

Hospitalizations also are declining to 1,007 patients, 181 fewer than were reported Friday and 401 fewer than a week ago.

The drop in cases comes as just over 60 percent of all state residents 16 and older have now received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, new data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show.

The news coincides with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions that began Tuesday, with bars and restaurants now allowed to stay open beyond 11 p.m. and can seat up to 50 percent of their capacity as Michigan’s COVID-19 restrictions eased Tuesday.

The scheduled June 1 changes also remove capacity restrictions at outdoor events like concerts, sporting events and weddings.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has said all COVID-19 restrictions will cease on July 1, barring some unforeseen turn. — Mike Wilkinson


Saturday, May 29

Michigan has fewest infections in nearly nine months

Michigan reported 445 new COVID-19 infections Saturday— the lowest in nearly nine months.

This is also the seventh consecutive day cases have stayed below 1000, the longest streak since September.

The seven-day daily average dropped to 645 cases, the lowest since Sept. 19 when it was 621.

June 1 update: Michigan COVID restrictions ease as June 1 arrives

The state also reported 49 new COVID-19 deaths Saturday, with 48 of them being added after a review of medical records following earlier deaths. This brings the total deaths in Michigan tied to COVID-19 to 19,163 since the pandemic started.

Of 18,945 coronavirus tests reported Saturday, 3.5 percent were positive. The state’s goal is to maintain a positivity rate of 3 percent or lower. A lower rate indicates it is less likely the virus will spread widely. — Sophia Kalakailo


Friday, May 28

614 new COVID cases Friday, 24 deaths

Michigan reported 614 new COVID-19 infections on Friday, the sixth consecutive day below 1,000, a streak not seen since February, before the late winter-spring surge.

It also brought the seven-day daily average down to 726 cases, a rate not reported since September.

Related: Records: COVID-19 nursing home deaths may have been undercounted in Michigan

The state also reported 24 new COVID-19 deaths.

Michigan’s hospitals are now treating 1,188 patients for confirmed or suspected COVID-19, including 36 children. The number of patients has fallen almost every day since peaking at 4,422 on April 19. Friday’s total was 67 patients fewer than Thursday and 381 fewer than a week ago.

Of the nearly 24,100 coronavirus tests reported Friday, 3.5 percent were positive. The state’s goal is to keep the positive rate to 3 percent or lower. A lower rate indicates less likelihood the virus will spread widely. — Mike Wilkinson


Thursday, May 27

Jill Biden promotes vaccinations in Grand Rapids

First Lady Jill Biden visited a pop-up vaccine clinic at Grand Rapids Community College Thursday as part of a multi-city tour highlighting a new partnership between community colleges and vaccine providers in the federal retail pharmacy program.

Biden, a career community college educator who has continued to teach at Northern Virginia Community College even after her family’s January move to the White House, spoke with pharmacists from a local Rite Aid, which provided the doses for today’s clinic, one of the first in the partnership. Biden spoke to several GRCC students and community members who were sitting in a tented observation area after receiving their first shot of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. 

The First Lady emphasized the role of community colleges in serving local communities and the urgency of getting vaccinated.

“This is all based on science,” Biden said, encouraging the vaccine-hesitant to speak with trusted people in their lives, like pediatricians. “The vaccine is safe and effective and it saves lives.”

According to Bridge Michigan’s vaccine tracker, 62.6 percent of Kent County residents over the age of 16 have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Asked about vaccine incentives such as Ohio’s Vax-a-Million lottery, which for five weeks in a row will give away $1 million to a vaccinated Buckeye, Biden said: “I think it’s great. Anything it takes. 

“You know, it’s kind of like getting your kids to eat their vegetables, promising you can get a toy or whatever. Whatever it takes, I’m in favor of it. Because that’s the only way we’re going to get this country back to what we were before.” — Olivia Tucker


Thursday, May 27

Cases below 600, as vaccine levels near 60 percent

Michigan reported 542 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases Thursday, the lowest in more than eight months — before the winter and the spring surges.

The new cases brought the seven-day average to 800, the lowest since Sept. 22 when it was 761. The last time the single-day count was lower was Sept. 22 when it was 504.

The recent drop in cases has been swift, with the rise in vaccines and warmer weather likely combining to dramatically lower spread of the virus, which has been tied to the deaths of 19,090 people so far in Michigan, including 59 deaths reported Thursday.

Related: Cornhole and COVID tests mark a pandemic prom at one Michigan high school

The state also reported Thursday that just 3.5 percent of nearly 27,300 COVID-19 tests came back positive, also the lowest rate in two months; it hit 3.4 percent on Feb. 26. A lower rate of positive tests indicates less community spread of the virus. 

Hospitalizations also fell, with the state reporting 1,255 patients being treated at hospitals across the state for confirmed or suspected COVID-19. That’s 100 fewer than were reported Wednesday.

Also Thursday, 59.4 percent of Michigan residents aged 16 and older have received at least a first dose of a COVID vaccine, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That represents 4.8 million Michigan residents. — Mike Wilkinson


Wednesday, May 26

799 new cases, as weekly average dips less than 1,000

Michigan’s average daily COVID-19 cases fell below 1,000 for the first time since Feb. 24 on Wednesday, as officials reported 799 new cases. The seven-day average fell to 919.

The last time the average was below 1,000 was Feb. 24 when it hit 966 at what was the beginning of the late winter-spring surge.

Cases have dropped steadily since an April 19 peak of just over 7,000 cases a day, when Michigan’s spring outbreak was the worst in the nation.

Related: Michigan streamlines MIOSHA workplace rules as COVID fades

On Wednesday, the state reported that 4.7 percent of nearly 22,900 tests came back positive, pushing the past week’s rate to 4.96 percent — the first time below 5 percent since March 11.

The state also reported 12 additional COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total to 19,031 since the pandemic started.

The state also reported Wednesday that 1,355 hospital patients were being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19. That’s 53 fewer than Tuesday and 353 fewer than a week earlier.— Mike Wilkinson


Tuesday, May 25

COVID-19 deaths pass 19,000

Michigan reported 66 COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, pushing the state past 19,000 since the pandemic started here in March 2020.

There now have been 19,053 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 1,206 probable ones in Michigan. The state, which is ranked 10th in population, has the eighth most deaths in the country.

But in terms of the death rate per 100,000 people, Michigan ranks 14th.

Related: Can $1 million prizes or free cars jumpstart Michigan COVID vaccine rates?

Michigan also reported 739 confirmed coronavirus infections, continuing the state’s downward arc in cases. For the past week, the daily average has been 1,028, 33 percent lower than the average of 1,541 per day just one week ago.

Michigan, which has a population of 10 million, is nearing 1 million total cases of the coronavirus, as there have been 885,319 confirmed cases since the pandemic began and another 103,628 probable cases.

Statewide, 59 percent of residents 16 and over have now gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, just behind the national rate of 61.2 percent. Michigan currently ranks 27th in the nation in terms of vaccinations for those 16 and older.

The state reported just 15,849 coronavirus tests on Tuesday, the fewest since there were just 12,897 on Sept. 6 — over eight months ago. Of those, 5 percent were positive; 5.2 percent of tests in the past week have been positive. A spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, however, told Bridge Michigan the state has not received all antigen test reports for Monday and Tuesday. 

The state’s improvement from the worst spring outbreak in the nation has been remarkable. Beginning April 4 and for the next six weeks, Michigan had the most cases, hospitalizations and the highest positive test rate in the nation.

Now, it is eighth in positive tests, fifth in cases per 100,000 and second in hospitalizations per 100,000. Most states, like Michigan, are seeing all metrics fall; Michigan is just falling faster, a Bridge Michigan analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.

The state also reported 1,408 patients being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 on Tuesday. That's down 79 patients from Monday and nearly 400 from a week ago. — Mike Wilkinson


Monday, May 24

Fewest cases in weeks

For the first time since the beginning of Michigan’s third wave of COVID-19 cases, in which the state had the worst outbreak in the nation, the state reported fewer than 700 average daily cases for Sunday and Monday.

Over the two days, the state reported 1,378 cases, an average of 689 each day. The state also reported 14 total deaths over the two days.

The last time cases were so low was on Feb. 14-15, when the state reported 632 cases each day. That’s just before the state began its steep rise in cases, by far the worst in the nation.

Related: Whitmer’s latest flap: breaking her own Michigan rules about indoor dining

The lower case counts are one of several signs that mass vaccinations and warmer weather have blunted the surge that saw Michigan average over 7,000 cases a day in mid-April.

But case counts and COVID-related hospitalizations have plummeted since and a far lower percentage of people are seeing their COVID tests come back positive. 

Hospitalizations across Michigan for confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 fell to 1,487 patients on Monday, 82 fewer than Friday and 336 fewer than last Monday.

Also on Monday, the state reported that 4.4 percent of nearly 41,300 COVID-19 tests came back positive, moving the state closer to its goal of keeping that rate at 3 percent or lower. Lower positive rates indicate that community spread of the deadly virus is far less likely.

Mike Wilkinson


Saturday, May 22

1,013 new COVID cases, 86 additional deaths Saturday 

Michigan reported 1,013 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 Saturday, lowering the seven-day daily average to 1,225, the lowest since March 6, when the average was 1,210.

The state also reported 99 deaths following a review of medical records. However, because of corrections made to earlier death determinations, the state said the net increase in deaths attributed to the coronavirus in the state was 86. 

In some instances, the state said, it has rescinded previous determination that a death had been caused by COVID-19.

Of nearly 30,000 COVID tests reported Saturday, 5.2 percent were positive. For the past week, the rate of positive tests averaged 5.6 percent. The state’s goal is to keep its positive test rate at 3 percent or lower. Higher positive rates indicate more uncontrolled community spread of the deadly virus.

Mike Wilkinson


Friday, May 21

COVID positive test rate falls below 5 percent Friday

For the first time in more than two months, the state’s rate of positive COVID-19 test results has dipped below 5 percent — another important indicator that the virus is losing its grip on Michigan.

Just 4.8 percent of COVID-19 tests were returned positive in results recorded Friday, a new low since the spring surge. The positivity rate had shot up from a low of 4.5 percent on March 10 to a high of 17.9 percent on April 6.

The state’s goal is to keep its positive test rate at 3 percent or lower. High positive rates indicate uncontrolled community spread of the deadly virus.

Related: COVID vaccine effort goes door-to-door in Southwest Detroit

It’s the latest positive health news for a state that’s suffered mightily in recent months. 

Health officials this week told Bridge Michigan that vaccines have driven down COVID cases and hospitalizations and that the latest numbers indicate the pandemic is “winding down.” Data released Friday by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services seemed to offer more evidence of that.

Throughout the state, 1,569 people were hospitalized with suspected and confirmed COVID infections as of Friday, including 30 children, compared to a high of 4,422 COVID hospitalizations just more than a month ago, on April 19.

MDHHS also recorded another 1,132 confirmed cases Friday, bringing the total case count in more than 14 months to 882,189. But the daily volume of cases has dropped substantially since a peak on April 13, when the state was averaging 7,014 cases a day.

The last time Michigan recorded such a low number of average daily cases was March 9, when it dipped to 1,250 cases.

Still, the virus continues to bring pain to many Michiganders. On Friday, the state also recorded another 38 deaths linked to COVID-19, bringing the state’s total to 18,853. 

— Robin Erb


Thursday, May 20 

 74 more deaths Thursday as cases, hospitalizations continue to fall

Michigan reported 74 additional COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 18,815.

Of those, 61 were recorded after a review of medical records.

The state continues to experience a decline in new infections, reporting 1,372 new confirmed cases on Thursday. That puts the seven-day daily average at 1,355, half of what it was two weeks ago, when it was 2,836.

Related: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer: All COVID restrictions to end in Michigan on July 1

The decline in cases has led to far fewer hospitalizations, with 1,665 being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 as of Thursday. That’s 43 fewer than Wednesday, 536 fewer than a week ago and 946 fewer than two weeks ago.

Of nearly 37,200 tests reported Thursday, just 5.5 percent were positive, the lowest daily rate since 5.4 percent of tests reported March 11 were positive. — Mike Wilkinson


Wednesday, May 19

1,560 new cases and 31 more deaths

Michigan reported 1,560 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, along with 31 additional COVID-19 deaths.

Since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, the state has reported 879,685 confirmed cases and 18,741 deaths.

Related: Coronavirus Tracker | Michigan reports 1,560 new COVID cases Wednesday, 31 deaths

Of nearly 27,500 coronavirus tests reported Wednesday, 6.2 percent were positive. It was 10 percent on May 1 and the rate of positive tests has fallen for nearly six straight weeks.

New vaccine data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 57.2 percent of Michigan residents 16 and older have gotten at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccines.

COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to fall, with 1,708 patients being treated at Michigan hospitals with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 Wednesday. The last time it was lower was March 23 when there were 1,687 patients. It then rose to a peak of 4,422 on April 19.

— Mike Wilkinson


Tuesday, May 18 

New cases fall to 1,271 Tuesday, 83 more deaths 

Michigan reported 1,271 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the fifth consecutive day below 2,000.

The state also reported 83 COVID-19 deaths, including 27 which were determined after a review of medical records. Three of the deaths were in April and all others in May.

Related: As masks lift, Whitmer faces pressure to speed easing of COVID limits

Of the nearly 19,200 coronavirus tests reported Tuesday, 6.1 percent came back positive. Over the past week, 6.4 percent have been positive as the rate continues to fall.

The weekly rate has fallen 39 straight days since hitting a peak of 16.9 percent on April 8. — Mike Wilkinson


Monday, May 17

Hospitalizations fall to 1,823

Michigan hospitals reported treating 1,823 patients for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 on Monday, the first time below 2,000 since March 26.

That’s 263 fewer patients than the state reported on Friday, the largest drop from one reporting day until the next since April 2020. Monday’s patient count is also 572 fewer than were being treated in hospitals a week ago.

Related: Mask confusion: How Michigan navigated a weekend of new COVID orders

The decline in hospitalizations matches a steep drop in cases, with the state reporting 2,230 for Sunday and Monday, an average of 1,115 a day.

Michigan, for the first time since early April, no longer has the highest case rate in the nation, with Colorado currently No. 1. But every state in the nation is seeing case counts fall or stay level.

The state also reported 20 additional COVID-19 deaths, or 10 each for Sunday and Monday.

The drop in cases has been remarkable and far steeper than the fall in December and January. For instance, Macomb and suburban Wayne counties were averaging 88 and 74 cases per day per 100,000 four weeks ago. As of Monday, Macomb was at 16 cases per day per 100,000 and Wayne at 14.

Related: $1 million lotteries and baseball for COVID shots? Not in Michigan

Testing data also showed continued improvement, with 6 percent of nearly 54,900 tests over the past two days coming back positive. A month ago the rate was 12.5 percent.

The state’s goal is to keep its positive test rate at 3 percent or lower. A high positive rate indicates more uncontrolled community spread of the deadly virus.

— Mike Wilkinson


Saturday, May 15

1,289 cases Saturday; adult vaccination rate at 56.1 percent

Michigan reported 1,289 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, the lowest since 954 were reported on March 9.

The state also reported 107 COVID-19 deaths, including 91 which were determined after a review of medical records. Two of the deaths occurred in January, 31 in April and 74 were in May.

Of over 32,200 tests reported Saturday, 6 percent were positive; 7 percent of all tests in the past week were positive. On May 1, the weekly rate was 10.9 percent positive.

Vaccine data reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 56.1 percent of Michigan’s adults 16 and over have had at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccines.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has adopted a plan to relax restrictions when the state hits certain thresholds. The next threshold is 60 percent, at which the 11 p.m. curfew on bars and restaurants will be lifted two weeks after hitting the threshold.

The state does not report hospitalizations on weekends.  — Mike Wilkinson


Friday, May 14

Michigan reports 1,776 cases

Michigan reported 1,766 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, the lowest number since 1,572 were reported two months ago, on March 15. The state also reported 34 new COVID-19 deaths.

Since the pandemic began, Michigan has reported 18,500 COVID-19 deaths and 873,335 confirmed infections.

Related: Michigan mask rule change: Many questions. Some answers. What to know.

With case counts falling, Michigan is averaging 1,790 newly recorded cases a day in the past week, over 1,000 fewer than a week earlier and less than half of the 3,581 per day that were averaged on May 1.

Related: Mask mandate over for vaccinated in Michigan. Confusion for everyone else?

Michigan still has the highest case rate in the country but it has been falling steadily for over a month.

As cases have fallen, hospitalizations across Michigan have as well, with 2,086 patients being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 as of Friday. That’s 115 fewer than Thursday and 525 fewer than last Friday.

Of more than 36,200 COVID tests reported Friday, 6.3 percent came back as positive, the lowest since March 12, when 5.6 percent were positive. The state’s goal is to keep its positive test rate at 3 percent or lower. A high positive rate indicates more uncontrolled community spread of the deadly virus. — Mike Wilkinson


Thursday, May 13

2,057 cases, 112 deaths as pandemic wave continues to taper

Michigan reported 2,057 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 112 deaths on Thursday, continuing a steep decline in cases.

The latest cases lower Michigan’s average daily rate to 1,931, the first time it has been under 2,000 since March 15, when the average was 1,951 daily cases. Of the deaths, 73 that followed a review of medical records. One was in March, nine were in April and the rest were in May.

Related: Boarding a freighter in the Soo Locks to deliver 5 doses of COVID vaccine

Of nearly 40,000 coronavirus tests reported Thursday, 6.4 percent were positive. Over the past week, 7.7 percent of tests were positive. Two weeks ago, the rate was just over 11 percent.

Hospitalizations declined for the 18th consecutive reporting day, with 2,201 patients being treated statewide for confirmed or suspected COVID-19. The state does not release hospital data on weekends and patient counts have fallen ever since the state hit a peak of 4,422 on April 19 Mike Wilkinson


Wednesday, May 12

Vaccination rate slowing

As Michigan health workers race to vaccinate as many people as possible against COVID-19, fewer residents are starting the vaccination process, new federal data showed.

According to data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just 14,182 more Michigan residents got their first dose in the past day. All told, 55.4 percent of those who are 16 and older in Michigan have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has tied the easing of state pandemic restrictions to increases in the percentage of people who have at least one dose of the vaccines. All restrictions will come off two weeks after the state hits 70 percent.

But with vaccination rates slowing, it could take nearly three more weeks to get to 60 percent, let alone 70 percent.

Dashboard: Michigan coronavirus testing numbers, trends, COVID-19 data

Since the state began using the CDC data last Friday in a move to more fully capture vaccinations that Michigan, including shots Michigan residents received in other states, the state has averaged just under 19,000 “first dose” vaccinations per day.

With the state needing another 369,000 people to get the first dose to reach 60 percent, it could take nearly three weeks if there is no change in the current pace. Yet University of Michigan researchers working with the state have estimated it could take until Aug. 1 to hit 70 percent because of a continued drop in interest in the vaccines.

The state reported 2,172 new coronavirus confirmed cases Wednesday, and 17 additional COVID-19 deaths. 

Hospitalizations also continued to fall, with 2,247 patients currently in hospitals across the state for confirmed or suspected COVID-19. That’s down 36 patients from Tuesday and 673 from a week earlier.

Of nearly 29,000 coronavirus tests reported Wednesday, 8 percent were positive. The state’s goal is to keep its positive test rate at 3 percent or lower. A high positive rate indicates more uncontrolled community spread of the deadly virus.

Mike Wilkinson


Tuesday, May 11

Michigan reports 1,992 cases, 99 COVID-19 deaths Tuesday 

Michigan reported 1,992 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, lowering the seven-day average to 2,199.

The state also reported 99 deaths, including 32 that followed a review of medical records. Six of the deaths occurred in April; the other 93 were this month. 

Dashboard: Michigan coronavirus testing numbers, trends, COVID-19 data

Though 2,666 COVID-19 deaths have been recorded since March 1, the spring surge has had far fewer deaths than in the fall-winter surge. Since March 1 there have been nearly 279,000 coronavirus cases, about 20 percent fewer compared to the same number of days of the fall-winter surge.

There were 5,521 deaths in the fall-winter surge, more than double what has occurred in the spring. A large factor has been vaccines, which were given first to seniors across the state, a group that has been far more vulnerable to the deadly virus. 

Related: COVID is fading, but racial gap in deaths is back with force in Michigan

The latest vaccine data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 55.3 percent of Michigan residents have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine. Once the state hits 60 percent, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has said the 11 p.m. curfew on bars and restaurants will be lifted two weeks afterward and capacity limits will ease on gyms, and at sporting events, conference and banquet centers and funerals.

Out of nearly 20,000 COVID tests reported Tuesday, 8.4 percent came back positive and 8.2 percent of over 228,000 tests in the past week were positive, continuing a string of 32 consecutive days that the average daily positivity rate has fallen. Mike Wilkinson


Tuesday, May 11

590K Michigan youngsters may soon be eligible for vaccine; rate hits 55%

Some 590,00 young Michiganders may soon be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Monday expanded its authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to 12- to 15-year-olds.

The FDA in December authorized the vaccine for those 16 and older. Doses will be the same for adolescents.

Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock said the action will bring the nation “closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic.”

Dashboard: Michigan coronavirus testing numbers, trends, COVID-19 data

But just how quickly that may happen is unclear.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has scheduled a meeting Wednesday to advise the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on whether to recommend the vaccine’s use in the new age group. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services may then distribute guidance to local health departments.

Related: “It’s like a miracle:” Monoclonal antibody use soars over 300% in Michigan

Michigan’s pace of vaccinations has slowed in recent weeks, and health departments have begun to move into high schools to reach teenagers. While the young tend to get milder forms of COVID-19, it still has infected about 1.5 million individuals 11 to 17 years old, according to CDC. — Robin Erb


Monday, May 10

55 percent vaccinated; back to work set for May 24

Michigan has now hit 55 percent of its population 16 and older with at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccines, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine data updated Monday afternoon.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, in a video on Twitter, acknowledged the news Monday and said her administration will allow for in-person office work beginning on May 24. 

Dashboard: Michigan coronavirus testing numbers, trends, COVID-19 data

The administration has said it will remove additional restrictions as more people get vaccinated, with all restrictions being removed after 70 percent of the 8 million people who are 16 and over get at least the first dose.

Related: As Michigan reaches COVID vaccine mark, offices plan to welcome workers

Each restriction will be lifted two weeks after hitting the remaining benchmarks. The next benchmark is 60 percent, after which the 11 p.m. curfew on bars and restaurants will lift and bigger crowds will be allowed in gyms, at sporting events and at conference and banquet centers and funerals.

The state also reported 2,716 new confirmed COVID-19 infections on Monday, or an average of 1,358 for both Sunday and Monday.

Related: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer links easing COVID rules to vaccines

That pushed the seven-day average to 2,276, the lowest since 2,149 on March 18.

The state also reported 33 COVID-19 deaths.

The number of hospitalized fell by 216 from Friday, with 2,395 patients being treated statewide for confirmed or suspected COVID-19. That’s also 668 fewer than a week ago and over 2,000 fewer than the April 19 peak of 4,422.

For the first time since April 4, Michigan is no longer leading the nation in the percent of positive coronavirus tests, slipping to No. 2 behind South Dakota. Michigan still has the highest case and hospitalization rates but had led the nation in all three categories since April 4.

Over the weekend, 7.4 percent of more than 54,400 tests came back positive. — Mike Wilkinson


Monday, May 10

Michigan just shy of vaccination milestone

Just under 15,000 more Michigan residents need to get their first shot of the coronavirus vaccine to trigger Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s benchmark to loosen restrictions by allowing businesses to require in-person work in two weeks.

In Michigan, 54.8 percent of residents 16 and older have had their first shot, according to an analysis of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data the state now uses to measure vaccinations.

Another 14,991 are needed to push the state’s vaccination rate for people getting their first shot to 55 percent, the benchmark Whitmer set to allow office work in two weeks. The state may well exceed the amount needed when new numbers come out later Monday. 

On Friday, the state switched from using its own data, based on its vaccine registry, to the CDC data because the latter picks up vaccinations administered to Michigan residents in other states. Thousands of Michigan residents have traveled to Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin to get the vaccine and many residents have done so while vacationing in other states like Florida and South Carolina.

Unless they told their Michigan doctor about getting a shot elsewhere, until now there has been no way for Michigan to record their vaccination, artificially lowering the state’s overall vaccination rate.

The switch to CDC data picked up over 200,000 previously unrecorded out-of-state vaccinations and moved the state from 51.5 percent to 54.5 percent of the more than 8 million people 16 and older.

Since Saturday morning, the CDC data recorded another 44,800 vaccines, pushing the overall percentage closer to the threshold.— Mike Wilkinson


Saturday, May 8

New cases below 2,000 for first time since March

Michigan public health officials reported 1,825 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Saturday, the lowest single-day number since 1,572 on March 15.

The near-daily decline in cases has lowered the seven-day daily average to 2,607 cases, down from 3,400 one week ago and 4,714 two weeks ago.

The state also reported 122 new COVID-19 deaths, 83 of which followed a review of medical records. Six of those were in March, 44 in April and 71 in May. Two cases were removed and two others were added, one from February and another from September.

The 122 deaths were the third-most reported on any single day during the current wave. However, this wave of cases has been far less lethal than the one in the fall, when a similar number of infections occurred.

Since March 1, the worst day was April 23, when 78 deaths were reported (deaths are typically reported on a different day than when they occur). In the fall-winter surge, there 28 days with more than 100 deaths.

Since the state switched to using data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which includes vaccines given to Michigan residents in other states, Michigan's vaccination rate is now at 54.5 percent of all residents 16 and older with at least one dose.

Once 38,506 more people get their first shot, the state will hit 55 percent, the first threshold set by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration, lifting the restriction on office work two weeks later.

The Saturday data also showed that 7.5 percent of more than 32,200 tests came back positive, the lowest percentage since the same rate was reported on March 18. — Mike Wilkinson


Friday, May 7

Michigan hits 54% vaccination rate

Michigan officials on Friday evening released new data pegging the state's vaccination rate at 54 percent, just one percentage point under the first milestone in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's plan to loosen COVID-19 restrictions.

The revised figures for the first time include tallies of those who received shots in different states, and they increase Michigan's rate from 51.5 percent of 8 million adults who have gotten at least one dose of the vaccines .

Whitmer’s plan calls for allowing employers to require in-person work two weeks after the state hits 55 percent.

Related: Abortion, Nazi conspiracies derail Michigan GOP hearing on vaccine passports

Also Friday, the state reported 2,758 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, continuing a downward trend, with the seven-day average at 2,836 cases. The average has fallen 21 straight days since it was at 6,949 on April 16.

The state also reported 30 additional COVID-19 deaths and there have now been 18,084 confirmed COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began.

Dashboard: Michigan coronavirus testing numbers, trends, COVID-19 data

Test results Friday showed that 8.6 percent of just over 43,000 COVID tests came back positive, marking the fourth day in the past five it has been below 10 percent. For 38 days March 25 to May 1, it was over 10 percent every day, hitting a high of 17.9 on April 6.

Hospitalizations also continued to fall, with 2,611 patients being treated with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 Friday. That’s down 156 from Thursday and 452 from Monday.

Despite the improvements, Michigan still has the highest case, percent positive and hospitalization rates in the country, though the gap between the state and others has narrowed dramatically. — Mike Wilkinson


Thursday, May 6

 115 COVID-19 deaths and 3,514 cases

Michigan reported 3,514 new coronavirus cases Thursday and 115 deaths, 92 of which came after a review of medical records.

The cases pushed Michigan’s seven-day daily average to 2,934 cases, continuing a stunning decline in cases.

St. Clair County, which had the highest rate in the nation in early April, averaged 43 new daily cases over the past week — less than a quarter of the 187 daily cases it averaged from April 8 through April 14.

Related: Michigan to begin easing COVID mask restrictions on Thursday

The drop in cases has pushed the state’s overall rate down from over 70 cases per 100,000 in early April to about 30 cases per 100,000 now.

Results from more than 39,900 tests reported Thursday showed that 8.6 percent were positive, pushing the overall weekly rate to 9.7 percent, the first time under 10 percent since it was 9.6 percent on March 24.

Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 continued to fall, with 2,767 patients statewide, down 153 patients from Wednesday’s report. The number of patients treated for COVID-19 has declined every day since it hit its peak on April 19, when 4,422 were being treated.

Dashboard: Michigan coronavirus testing numbers, trends, COVID-19 data

Just over half of the state’s adults, 50.9 percent, have had at least one dose of the vaccine. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued a plan to begin relaxing restrictions when the state’s vaccination rate hits 55 percent and remove them entirely when it hits 70 percent.

To get to the first threshold, just over 331,000 more people need to get their first shot. — Mike Wilkinson


Wednesday, May 5

Positive test results fall below 9 percent

For the first time since March 20, the percentage of Michigan coronavirus tests coming back positive fell below 9 percent Wednesday.

With 8.6 percent of nearly 35,000 tests coming back positive, the weekly positivity rate — now at 10.1 percent — has fallen for 26 straight days since it peaked at 16.9 percent on April 8. That’s encouraging because a lower rate indicates less uncontrolled community spread of the deadly virus. State health authorities’ goal is to keep the positivity rate at 3 percent or less. 

Related: Michigan may not hit 70% vaccination rate until August, as demand falls

COVID19 case counts also are down across most of the state, with 2,589 confirmed cases reported Wednesday. That pushes the seven-day average to 2,949, the first time the average has been below 3,000 since March 23.

Another encouraging sign is a continued drop in hospitalizations. There are now 2,920 patients being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 in Michigan hospitals. That’s down 77 patients from Tuesday’s count, and by 1,502 patients since the peak of 4,422 COVID patients on April 19.

Dashboard: Michigan coronavirus testing numbers, trends, COVID-19 data

Despite the improvements, Michigan still has the highest case rates, positive test and hospitalization rates in the country.

The state reported 42 additional COVID-19 deaths Wednesday, pushing the overall state total to 17,939 since the pandemic began.

Mike Wilkinson


Tuesday, May 4

126 deaths Tuesday, but third wave far less lethal

Michigan reported 2,527 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 126 deaths on Tuesday. 

The deaths are the second-most of the third wave, following the 131 reported Saturday: Of them, 51 were recorded after a review of medical records. 

That said, the third wave has been far less lethal than others in Michigan, with 2,182 deaths over two months compared to 4,400 over two months in the fall even though both surges had similar numbers of cases: 239,000 in fall and 222,000 in spring.

Related: GOP wants to exempt Michigan graduation ceremonies from COVID orders

The drop in deaths points to the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccines, with state leaders first giving doses to health care professionals and to those 65 and up, who are most likely to have serious illness and die from COVID-19.

More than 65 percent of seniors have gotten the vaccine and they now comprise far fewer of all COVID-19 cases than they did before the vaccines were first introduced in December.

Dashboard: Michigan coronavirus testing numbers, trends, COVID-19 data

Of nearly 28,900 tests reported Tuesday, 11.8 percent were positive, the highest percentage in a week. But the overall rate over that past week fell again to 10.5 percent.

Hospitalizations for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 continued to fall, with 2,997 patients reported statewide. That’s 66 fewer than Monday and the first time below 3,000 since it was at 2,801 on April 2. — Mike Wilkinson


Monday, May 3

5,035 cases on Sunday and Monday

Michigan reported 5,035 confirmed COVID-19 cases covering Sunday and Monday, an average of 2,517 per day, as well as 29 deaths.

That’s the lowest daily case number since March 22, when 2,401 were reported. Michigan’s new daily average rate is 3,368.

Related: History, algebra … and Pfizer? Michigan high schools host vaccine clinics

Of more than 61,400 tests, 9.5 percent were positive, bringing the overall rate over that past week to 10.7 percent, the lowest since it was 10.3 percent for the week preceding March 25.

Dashboard: Michigan coronavirus testing numbers, trends, COVID-19 data

Hospitalizations for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 continued to fall, with 3,063 patients reported statewide. That’s 126 fewer than Friday, the last reported day, and 802 fewer than last Monday. — Mike Wilkinson


Saturday, May 1

131 reported deaths on Saturday

Though coronavirus case rates continue to fall from an April 13 peak, Michigan reported 131 COVID-19 deaths on Saturday, the most reported on any day in the current spring surge.

Of those deaths, one occurred in January, another in March, but the remainder occurred in April, along with five reported Saturday.

The state also reported 3,431 new confirmed cases, putting the seven-day daily average at 3,581, almost half of the 7,014 peak on April 13, a huge drop in just 18 days.

Dashboard: Michigan coronavirus testing numbers, trends, COVID-19 data

In comparison, during the fall surge, when no vaccines were yet available, average case counts were still at 6,000 a day 18 days after the Nov. 21 peak of 7,270 average daily cases.

For the second day in a row, the positive test rate across the state was below 10 percent, with 9.8 percent of the more than 44,400 tests reported Saturday coming back positive. The state’s goal is to keep its positive test rate at 3 percent or lower. A high positive rate indicates more uncontrolled community spread of the deadly virus.

The state does not update data on hospitalizations and vaccines on weekends. — Mike Wilkinson


Friday, April 30

Half of Michigan adults have now started on COVID vaccine

As Michigan sees COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths fall, state officials reported Friday that fully 50 percent of state residents 16 and older have gotten at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccines.

That puts the state 5 percentage points away from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s new benchmarks for relaxing some of the state’s remaining COVID-19 restrictions. Once 55 percent of state residents have at least started the vaccine, Whitmer intends to allow more in-person work 14 days later, with more restrictions dropped as the percentage rises up to 70 percent of the more than 8 million people in Michigan who are 16 and older.

Related: ‘A personal choice.’ Michigan GOP leaders balk at COVID vaccine incentives

But getting to 55 percent could take some time: The state needs nearly 400,000 more people to get vaccinated to cross that threshold and the daily vaccination rate has fallen in recent weeks as the state bumps into that portion of the state population that is less motivated or outright hesitant to be vaccinated. 

After averaging nearly 60,000 doses a day to those starting the vaccination process just two weeks ago, the recent average has fallen below 40,000 doses a day.

Dashboard: Michigan coronavirus testing numbers, trends, COVID-19 data

The state also reported 3,440 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Friday, lowering the seven-day average to 3,762, the lowest since it was 3,678 on March 26. There were another 36 COVID-19 deaths reported Friday as well.

For the first time since March 20, the percent of positive tests fell below 10 percent, with 9.7 percent of more than 43,800 tests reported Friday coming back positive. The lower the rate of people testing positive, the more that community spread of the virus is considered to be under control.  

But the spring surge has been substantial: Since March 20, the state has reported just over 216,000 COVID-19 cases, a full 26 percent of the state’s total of 840,954 since the pandemic began. There have been 1,646 deaths reported since March 20, or 9 percent of the 17,611 deaths that have been recorded.

Mike Wilkinson


Thursday, April 29 

3,623 new cases, as third wave fades fast in Michigan

Michigan’s swift retreat from the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the nation continued Thursday, with hospitals reporting more than 1,000 fewer patients than they had a week ago.

Statewide, 3,284 patients are being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19, down 1,066 from last Thursday and 167 less than the day before.

Related: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer links easing COVID rules to vaccines

Despite the sharp decline, Michigan still has the highest hospitalization rate in the country, at 356 hospitalizations per 1 million people, far higher than the District of Columbia, which at No. 2 has 234 hospitalizations per million.

Michigan also reported 3,623 new confirmed coronavirus cases Thursday and 108 COVID-19 deaths. All but one of the deaths occurred in the previous two weeks; the other occurred in March.

Dashboard: Michigan coronavirus testing numbers, trends, COVID-19 data

Case counts are falling in all but five counties in the state. Of more than 49,700 tests reported Thursday, 10.4 percent came back positive, the lowest since 10.1 percent were positive on March 24. 

The state’s goal is to keep its positive test rate at 3 percent or lower. A high positive rate indicates more uncontrolled community spread of the deadly virus.— Mike Wilkinson


Wednesday, April 28

4,371 cases, 38 deaths

Michigan reported 4,371 coronavirus cases on Wednesday and 38 deaths from the virus, reducing the seven-day cases average to 4,167, the lowest since March 27.

Since the pandemic began, 833,891 people statewide have had confirmed cases and there have been 17,467 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

Related: CDC: Michiganders vaccinated against COVID can ease outdoor mask use

Infections have dropped substantially since a peak on April 13, when the state was averaging 7,014 cases a day.

Even so, Michigan still has the nation’s highest infection rate, with 51 confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases per 100,000, well above Colorado at No. 2, which has 30 cases per 100,000. But Michigan was at 74 cases per 100,000 a week ago.

Dashboard: Michigan coronavirus testing numbers, trends, COVID-19 data

Declining cases have led to fewer hospitalizations, as the state reported 3,446 patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 on Wednesday. That’s down 137 patients from Tuesday and nearly 1,000 from April 19, when Michigan hit a single-day peak for hospitalizations.

Much of the decline in patients was reported in metro Detroit, where a census count across six counties declined to 1,952 from just over 2,600 eight days ago, easing pressure on hospitals that were at or near capacity.

Out of nearly 36,700 tests reported Wednesday, 11.7 percent were positive. Two weeks ago, 15.5 percent of the previous week’s tests were positive.

The state’s goal is to keep its positive test rate at 3 percent or lower. A high positive rate indicates more community spread of the deadly virus. — Mike Wilkinson


Tuesday, April 27

Michigan reports 105 deaths

Coronavirus infection rates are falling across most of Michigan with just five of the state’s 83 counties seeing increases, according to the latest data released Tuesday.

Two weeks ago, 72 counties were seeing infection rates rise.

Related: Inside the third surge at Sparrow: A Lansing hospital in overflow

Muskegon County is one of the five still rising, and now leads the state with an average of 86 daily cases for every 100,000 people, up from 51 cases a day a week earlier. Meanwhile, counties hit hardest by the spring surge are seeing steep declines in new cases.

But the lagging fallout from the recent surge continues, with the state reporting 105 additional COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, all but three of which occurred in April.

Though the current wave is proving less deadly than earlier surges, largely because more than 65 percent of Michigan seniors — the most vulnerable to the virus — have been vaccinated, it still has caused over 1,750  deaths since the wave began in mid-February. That’s roughly 10 percent of the 17,429 COVID-19 deaths in Michigan reported since the pandemic began.

The state reported 3,676 new cases on Tuesday, pushing the seven-day average down again, to 4,340, the lowest in nearly a month. It was at 4,208 on March 28.

For the first time in a week, however, the rate of COVID tests that came back positive rose on Tuesday, 13.7 percent among 33,000 tests reported.

— Mike Wilkinson


Monday, April 26

Cases, hospitalizations plummeting in Michigan

Coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and positive tests are declining rapidly in Michigan, but the state remains the national leader in all categories.

Michigan reported 6,524 new coronavirus cases on Monday, or an average of 3,262 for Sunday and Monday. The state has averaged 4,566 cases per day over the past week — more than 2,000 fewer than the 6,598 daily average just one week ago.

Related: As Michigan tamps down COVID, three new virus variants appear

The drop in cases has led to a reduction in COVID-19 patients in Michigan hospitals, with the state reporting 3,688 patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 on Monday, down 177 from last Friday and more than 700 from a week ago.

The state reported 35 deaths on Monday, an average of 18 for the two days covered by the report. Since the pandemic began, the state has said 17,324 have died from COVID-19.

Testing data also improved with 10.8 percent of more than 68,000 tests coming back positive. That sent the seven-day rate to 11.9 percent, a number that has fallen for 17 consecutive days from a high of 16.9 percent.

Despite the improvement, Michigan remains No. 1 in new cases, hospitalizations and positive tests nationally and most states, like Michigan, are seeing rates improve almost daily. — Mike Wilkinson


Saturday, April 24

4,698 cases reported Saturday

Michigan’s case counts and positive COVID test results continued to fall Saturday — more signs that the state may have blunted its third surge of COVID.

About 12.4 percent of tests over the past week were returned positive for COVID-19 as of Saturday, compared to a recent high on April 6 of 17.9 percent. There were wide variations in the state. 

 Related: FDA ends pause on J & J vaccine for COVID, but with warning to women

At least 1-in-5 tests recorded Saturday were positive in eight counties: Tuscola in the Thumb region at 24.3 percent; Hillsdale in southeast Michigan and Newaygo on the west side at 22.3 percent; Sanilac in the Thumb at 22.2 percent, Oceana at 21.6 percent, and St. Clair at 21.2 percent and Cheboygan at 20.8 percent.

The state’s goal is to keep the positivity rate at 3 percent or below. A high positive rate indicates more uncontrolled community spread of the deadly virus.

The state also added 4,698 cases Saturday, further dropping the average daily case count from a high of 7,014 cases April 13 to 4,859 cases Saturday, based on a seven-day rolling average. Like testing results, there were wide variations among counties. Muskegon and Newaygo reported 79 and 76 cases per 100,000 residents, respectively, while the Upper Peninsula’s Keweenaw, Houghton and Gogebic each reported fewer than 10 in every 100,000 residents. 

Another 121 deaths were connected to COVID-19, including 91 based on a review of medical records. Deaths are a lagging indicator in COVID trends.

— Robin Erb


Friday, April 23

Cases, hospitalizations, positive tests keep dropping in Michigan

Michigan confirmed another 29 deaths in its COVID toll Friday, bringing the total number of deaths to 17,168. The state also added another 5,031 cases, bringing the total to 814,622.

But the good news continued, too.

In the past 10 days, the average daily case count has plummeted from a high of 7,014 cases to 4,978 cases Friday, based on a seven-day rolling average.  

Hospitalizations fell precipitously, too.

On Friday, Michigan hospitals were treating 3,865 patients, including 54 children. That was 557 fewer patients than on Monday, when Michigan had the highest hospitalization totals since the pandemic began.

In addition, the rate of COVID tests that came back positive fell to 11.1 percent. That’s far below the first week in April when the positivity rate surpassed 17 percent for several days. The state’s goal is to keep the positivity rate at 3 percent or below. 

— Robin Erb


Thursday, April 22

Daily cases fall below 5,000; Michigan announces pop-up tests for travelers

Michigan connected another 108 deaths Thursday to COVID-19, driving the number to 17,139 deaths in 13 months.

Daily cases fell to 4,867 Thursday, nearly half the total of last Friday, when there were 8,955 cases, the highest one-day tally of the year. The decline has caused the rolling average of daily cases to fall to 5,538 on average from 6,949 a week ago.

Related: As Michigan COVID vaccine rates ebb, pop up clinics and casino cash appear

Hospitalizations fell for the third day in a row to 3,976 patients (including 58 children) from 4,244 on Monday.

Positivity in testing fell to 12.1 percent Thursday, down from a recent high of 17.9 percent April 6. — Robin Erb


Michigan announces quick tests for travelers

Michigan’s road trippers will have easier access to COVID-19 antigen testing at some of the state’s busiest travel stops, including some airports and Welcome Centers.

The quick tests may offer results — emailed or texted to the traveler — in as little as 15 minutes through an effort by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Transportation.

Travelers will be able to book appointments, but walk-ins may be available at times. Three sites have been confirmed so far: Welcome Centers in Dundee in Petersburg and Monroe and at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City.

Hours will be limited. Travelers can find out more at the MDHHS webpage here that lists pop-up testing. — Robin Erb


Wednesday, April 21

Cases decline to 5,584

Michigan reported 5,584 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday and 45 new deaths, pushing the state past two tragic milestones.

The state now has reported more than 800,000 cases (804,724) and more than 17,000 deaths (17,031).

Michigan, the tenth most populous state, now is the 10th state to cross 17,000 deaths and the 11th to exceed 800,000 confirmed cases.

Related: Michigan Gov. Whitmer defends her Florida trip, calls criticism ‘maddening’

But the overall numbers reported Wednesday continue to suggest the state is seeing a slowdown in infections.

The daily case count lowered the seven-day average of new cases to 5,720, the lowest it has been since April 3, when it was 5,662. And 12.3 percent of the nearly 46,600 coronavirus tests reported Wednesday came back positive, the lowest since 12.1 percent of March 26’s tests were positive. That’s still well above the state’s goal of 3 percent positive test results or lower.

The state’s hospitals also reported nearly 200 fewer COVID-19 patients statewide with nearly every region reporting treating fewer patients, especially in metro Detroit’s six counties, which reported 91 fewer patients treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

There were 4,153 patients statewide on Wednesday, down from 4,350 on Tuesday and an all-time high of 4,422 on Monday.

Despite the improvement, Michigan still has, by far, the nation’s worst ongoing outbreak, with the highest case, positive testing and hospitalization rates in the country, according to a Bridge Michigan analysis of daily data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mike Wilkinson


Tuesday, April 20 

Michigan reports 5,259 COVID-19 cases, 85 deaths

The seven-day average of daily COVID-19 cases in Michigan fell to almost 6,000 on Tuesday with the report of 5,259 newly confirmed cases.

It marks the fourth consecutive day the daily average fell. With Tuesday’s cases, the daily average over the past week was 6,082.

During this current surge, it peaked at 7,014 new cases on April 13. It was last below 6,000 on April 6 when it hit 5,931.

Related: Whitmer may be right. Michigan may have turned the corner on COVID surge.

The state reported 85 deaths on Tuesday, including 33 that followed a review of medical records. The total represents the second highest recorded during this, the state’s third wave of coronavirus cases. Since the pandemic began, the state has reported 16,986 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

After hitting an all-time peak of 4,422 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Monday, the hospitalization number fell by 72 Tuesday to 4,350.

The biggest drop occurred in metro Detroit’s six counties, whose hospitals had seen the most COVID patients ever. The number of COVID-19 patients fell by 85 to 2,523. But patient counts in west and southwest Michigan did climb as cases in those regions have increased.

Also, there are now 71 pediatric COVID-19 patients, the highest recorded.

Before vaccinations began in earnest, those under 10 years old comprised 3.5 percent of all cases in Michigan. Since February that age group has seen the biggest increase in weekly cases and in the past week the age group comprised 6.4 percent of all cases.

The current wave appears to be slowing in the eastern part of the state, with continued declines in the weekly case rate in metro Detroit and the Thumb. But cases continue to rise in west and southwest Michigan, including in Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon counties.

Of the nearly 35,000 tests reported Tuesday, 13.7 percent came back positive. Over the past week, 13.8 percent were positive and marked 11 consecutive days of declines. Still, the case positivity rate in Michigan remains well above the state’s goal of keeping the rate at 3 percent or below. — Mike Wilkinson


Monday, April 19

Hospitalizations hit 4,422, the most on record

More people are hospitalized in Michigan with COVID-19, 4,422, than at any recorded point of the pandemic.

The peak stems from continued growth of patients in metro Detroit, as there are 2,608 in the six-county region. That’s the most on record, but hospital data is incomplete from the earliest days of the pandemic, March and April 2020.

The increase comes as the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases fell over the weekend, with 8,574 reported for Sunday and Monday, or 4,287 per day.

Related: Join our Bridge Lunch Break discussion about COVID’s impact on higher ed

That’s brought the seven-day average down to 6,598 from 6,755 on Saturday. It was 7,014 on April 13.

The state recorded a lower percentage of positive coronavirus tests — 13.2 percent — than it had in over two weeks. Over the past week, 13.9 percent of tests were positive, the first time below 14 percent since March 31.

And for the first time in a couple of weeks, no county had a rate over 30 percent.

Case counts and percent positive tests fell as well in counties in the Thumb, which have the highest case rates during the spring surge.

The state also reported 61 additional COVID-19 deaths for Sunday and Monday, bringing the total to 16,901 since the pandemic began. — Mike Wilkinson


Saturday, April 17

5,530 new cases, a steep drop

Michigan reported 5,530 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 Saturday, a steep decline from nearly 9,000 a day earlier, which had been the second most reported in the pandemic.

The seven-day average is now 6,755, down from 6,949 on Friday.

The state also reported 69 more COVID-19 deaths, of which 60 were added following a review of medical records. Four of those occurred in March but the rest occurred in April.

Related: Mask up, Michigan toddlers! State expands COVID orders to 2-year-olds

Of nearly 58,300 coronavirus tests reported Saturday, 12.1 percent came back positive, the lowest daily rate since 10.9 percent positive was reported March 25. Over the past week, 14.3 percent of tests have been positive, a number that has declined eight consecutive days but still well above the state’s goal of 3 percent or less. 

Case rates in the five hardest hit counties — St. Clair, Sanilac, Huron, Tuscola and Macomb — are starting to fall, though they remain the highest in the state. But rates are rising in parts of west Michigan, including in the more populous counties of Kent and Ottawa.

The state does not report updated hospital and vaccination data on weekends.

Mike Wilkinson


Friday, April 16

Second-most cases in single day; Whitmer says virus starting to 'slow'

A day after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said COVID-19 infections in Michigan were “starting to slow down a bit,” the state reported 8,955 COVID-19 cases on Friday, its second-most in a single day.

Whitmer made her comments during an interview with ABC news and said the state was “making progress” in its battle with the virus.

Related: Survey: More than 8 in 10 Michigan teachers are fully vaccinated for COVID

But despite positive signs, including slightly lower positive rates on coronavirus tests, Michigan has by far the highest rate of infections in the nation.

The new cases included more than 1,000 in both Oakland County (1,086 new cases) and suburban Wayne County (1,021) and 943 in Macomb County. 

But there were encouraging signs with a decline in cases in the Thumb region that has been the hardest hit in the state.

The latest testing data showed that 14.7 percent of over 52,000 tests were positive, which helped lower the seven-day rate to 14.9 percent, the first time under 15 percent in two weeks.

The state also reported 40 additional COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total to 16,771 since the pandemic began.

The state also reported the highest number yet of pediatric COVID-19 patients, with 59 being treated in state hospitals. The overall number of patients being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 rose 35 to 4,244.

Hospitals in metro Detroit and south-central Michigan are now seeing more patients than at any point in the pandemic. — Mike Wilkinson


Thursday, April 15

Virus closes nine Secretary of State branches

The coronavirus pandemic has caused one more headache this week, as the Michigan Secretary of State’s office temporarily closed nine branches as of Thursday due to exposures to the virus.

Aneta Kiersnowski, a spokesperson for the agency, told Bridge Michigan in an email that those exposed have already been contacted by the local health departments.

“All customers with existing appointments were notified and told what nearby branch their appointment would be honored at,” Kiersnowski said.

Most of the branches are expected to reopen later this month. The closures are:

  • West Branch: 2394 W. M-55
  • Lansing: 3315 E. Michigan
  • Howell: 1448 Lawson 
  • Dearborn: 5090 Schaefer 
  • Owosso: 1720 E. M-21
  • Livonia: 17176 Farmington 
  • Troy: 1111 E. Long Lake 
  • Newberry: 504 W. Mcmillan 
  • Wyoming: 1056 28th St. SW — Sergio Martínez-Beltrán

Thursday, April 15

Michigan reports 6,303 cases, 112 deaths

Michigan reported 6,303 new confirmed cases and 112 deaths on Thursday, as the state continues to have the nation’s highest rate of COVID per 1,000 residents.

The deaths include 81 that followed a review of medical records, but all but two of them were in April.

Related: Beaumont Health sets up triage tents outside some hospitals to manage COVID-19 surge

Deaths are concentrated in the state’s hardest-hit areas.

In St. Clair County, nine more deaths were reported on Thursday and 77 have died since mid-February. That’s nearly a quarter of all COVID deaths in the county since the pandemic began a year ago. By contrast, Detroit has reported 91 COVID deaths since mid-February, less than 5 percent of the 1,933 deaths there.

For the first time in two weeks, less than 14 percent of the nearly 56,400 tests reported Thursday were positive. That brought the weekly positive down for the sixth consecutive day to 15.3 percent.

And for the second day in a row, hospitalizations in the state declined slightly, down 21 to 4,209, though metro Detroit remains near its all-time high. — Mike Wilkinson

Wednesday, April 14

Michigan reports 7,955 new cases

Michigan reported 7,955 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, pushing the seven-day average to just over 7,000 cases per day.

Michigan has the nation’s highest rate by a mile: At 79 daily confirmed and possible cases per 100,000, Michigan’s rate is an astonishing 84 percent higher than No. 2 Rhode Island, which is reporting 43 cases per 100,000.

Related: Homebound seniors in Michigan facing obstacles to COVID vaccines

Though cases counts remain high and are approaching the peak in the fall surge, some of the hardest-hit areas are seeing overall rates come down, including in the Thumb.

St. Clair County, which had been over 140 cases per 100,000, now is averaging 117 cases per day per 100,000 — still one of the nation’s highest rates but falling.

The latest testing data is showing the highest percentages are coming down; the state has only two counties — Sanliac (35.5 percent) and Tuscola (30.3) reporting over 30 percent of tests as positive.

For the state, the weekly positive rate of 15.5 percent — again, by far the highest in the nation — has fallen for five consecutive days. Of the 47,300 tests reported Wednesday, 14.6 percent were positive.

The state reported 35 additional COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday. Though the current surge has not been as lethal as the fall surge, deaths have risen.

But with fewer seniors getting infected than in the fall — 70 percent of those 65 and older have had at least one dose of vaccine — death rates should remain lower. Over 80 percent of all COVID-19 deaths were among those 60 and older. - Mike Wilkinson


Tuesday, April 13

Michigan records second-highest daily total

For the first time since the fall surge, Michigan is reporting a weekly average of more than 7,000 daily COVID-19 cases, with 8,867 new cases reported Tuesday.

It’s the second-highest daily tally, behind the 9,779 reported on Nov. 20.

The count follows several days of declines that offered some hope that Michigan’s worst-in-the-nation surge may be leveling off.

Related: Michigan at 'record high' for COVID-19 hospitalizations of children

But there is good news: The percent of positive cases fell again, to 14.2 percent of over 58,800 tests. That lowered the past week’s positive rate to 15.8 percent, the first time in a week it was below 16 percent.

Hospitalizations continue to increase, though, with 4,250 patients statewide. Of those,  1,392 are in Oakland, Macomb and St. Clair counties, nearly 150 more than the peak for the region last fall.

That’s created a bottleneck at rural hospitals just north of the region, which send their serious cases to bigger hospitals to the south, said Dr. Mark Hamed. He is the medical director for several counties and an emergency room physician in Sanilac County in the Thumb, which has some of the highest infection rates in the state.

Michigan reported 74 deaths on Tuesday, the third time in a week it has reported more than 70. The last time that many deaths were reported on a single day was Feb. 18, when there were 85.

In January the state recorded an average of 59 COVID-19 deaths a day, a rate that fell to 28 a day in February and to 19 a day in March.

So far in April, the tally has risen to 26 deaths a day. — Mike Wilkinson


Monday, April 12

Hospitalizations climb to 4,167 statewide

Hospitals in three of Michigan’s eight health regions now have more COVID-19 patients than they did during the fall surge.

Statewide, there are 4,167 patients hospitalized, up from 343 from Friday. Hospitalizations peaked at 4,326 on Nov. 30 before declining through mid-February.

Related: Michigan colleges rush to get COVID vaccine in student arms amid surge

Hospitals in the two regions of metro Detroit, covering six counties, are treating more than 2,500 confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, up from a previous peak of 2,225 on Dec. 2.

Hospitals in Region 1, which covers nine counties from the Ohio border to north of Lansing in south-central Michigan, reported 357 COVID-19 patients, up from a peak of 335 on Dec. 8.

The increase comes as the state reported 9,674 new cases for Sunday and Monday, an average of 4,837 daily cases. Over the past week, the daily average is now 6,457, and has dipped each of the last three days.

The state also reported 12 deaths over the two days, bringing the pandemic total to 16,512. There have also been 747,697 confirmed cases.

The state reported 14.5 percent of nearly 69,000 tests came back positive. The seven-day rate is 16.1 percent and has fallen for three straight days. That rate had risen every day since Feb. 28 until Friday. — Mike Wilkinson


Saturday, April 10

6,892 new cases, 74 deaths

Michigan reported 6,892 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, along with 74 deaths.

The deaths include 57 that were added following a review of medical records. One of the added deaths was in January, 15 were in March and the rest in April.

Related: Workers weary, patients angry, as COVID fills Michigan hospitals — again

Since the pandemic began, there have been 16,500 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and another 1,063 probable ones.

Of the 44,400 tests reported Saturday, 15.9 percent came back positive; 16.6 percent of the past week’s tests have been positive. The state’s goal is to keep its positive test rate at 3 percent or lower. A high positive rate indicates more uncontrolled community spread of the deadly virus.

The state does not report hospitalizations or vaccination data on the weekends. — Mike Wilkinson


Friday, April 9

No new restrictions, 7,834 cases

As Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced no new COVID-19 restrictions but implored Michigan residents to take more precautions Friday, the state reported another 7,834 new confirmed cases and 26 additional deaths.

Michigan has averaged 6,763 new cases a day for the past week and is on pace to exceed the peak — just over 7,200 daily cases — of the fall surge.

There are no obvious signs that state case numbers have hit their peak: Michigan hospitals continue to see more patients and five of the state’s eight regions reported the highest number of COVID-19-related emergency room visits in the past four days.

At a media event Friday, the governor asked (but did not require) schools to take high school classes online for two weeks and youth sports to shut down for two weeks. She also encouraged state residents to avoid indoor dining.

Related:No new restrictions, but Michigan needs help amid COVID surge, Whitmer says

But she did not order any new restrictions, a departure from invocation of emergency powers in response to a similar increase in November, again noting that the state’s rising numbers of vaccinated residents is the difference. She pointed to the 3.1 million people who have at least started the vaccination process and, as of Friday, the more than 2 million who have completed it.

COVID-19 cases remain highest in the Thumb, with St. Clair County now reporting, on average, 146 cases per 100,000 residents, by far the highest rate in the state. Nearby counties, including Macomb, Sanilac and Huron are all over 100, well above the state rate of 68 per 100,000 residents.

Results from 52,300 COVID-19 tests reported across Michigan Friday showed 17.5 percent came back positive, putting the weekly average at 16.9 percent across the state, far above the state’s goal of keeping positivity rates at 3 percent or lower.

Five Michigan counties — Huron (38.7 percent), Sanilac (34.4), Tuscola (33.4), St. Clair (30.7) and Missaukee (30) — have positive test rates at or exceeding 30 percent. Another 24 counties are between 20 and 30 percent.

One piece of good news: More than 286,000 people sought virus tests in the past week, up from 233,000 in the first week of March.

There are now 3,824 people hospitalized for treatment of confirmed or suspected COVID-19, up over 1,000 since last Friday.

The hardest hit are the six counties of metro Detroit, which now have more COVID-19 patients than they saw during the fall wave, and the region that stretches from south-central Michigan to north of Lansing. — Mike Wilkinson


Thursday, April 8

73 deaths, 7,819 cases, as third wave rips Michigan

Michigan reported 73 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, the most since 85 were reported on Feb. 18.

The deaths include 43 that followed a review of medical records, but all of the reported deaths have occurred in the last two weeks. That underscores the lethality of the current surge, as Michigan has the highest infection and hospitalization rates in the country.

Related: University of Michigan postpones surgical procedures because of COVID-19 surge

Since the third wave began in mid-February, those younger than 60 comprised 16 percent of deaths, compared to 10 percent before then. Seniors 60 and older, who were among the first to get the vaccines, now make up 84 percent of deaths, down from 90 percent.

The biggest drop was among those 70 and older: from 74 percent of all deaths before mid-February to 64 percent since. Those 65 and above have the highest rates of vaccination in the state, according to the state.

Statewide, 3.1 million people have had at least one dose of the vaccine and 1.9 million have had either both doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The state also reported 7,819 additional confirmed coronavirus infections on Thursday, pushing the seven-day average to 6,429, the highest since Dec. 5.

Of the 56,300 tests reported Thursday, 14.7 percent came back positive, the lowest rate in eight days. Michigan, however, still has by far the highest rate in the country. — Mike Wilkinson


Wednesday, April 7

Michigan reports 8,015 cases

Michigan reported Wednesday another 8,015 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, the eighth highest daily count since the pandemic began.

The state also reported 30 additional COVID-19 deaths, the most since 32 were reported Feb. 3 (excluding days when the totals included previous deaths based on an updated review of medical records).

Related: Michigan COVID hospitalizations again on the rise, but patients are younger

Michigan currently has the highest rate of new infections in the country, the highest percentage of positive tests and the most COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 people.

The current surge is pushing hundreds of patients a day into hospitals, with COVID-19 patient loads in metro Detroit at or approaching levels from the second wave in the fall. 

Across the state, 3,595 patients were hospitalized Wednesday with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19. It’s risen over 1,000, or 40 percent, in a week.

There were 1,006 adult COVID-19 patients Wednesday in hospitals in Wayne, Washtenaw and Monroe counties, about the same as on Dec. 7. There were more than 1,100 adult COVID patients in hospitals in Oakland, Macomb and St. Clair counties.

Central-southern Michigan, from the Ohio border to north of Lansing, is also approaching hospital patient levels reported in the fall, as is the northern lower peninsula. Hospitals in the Upper Peninsula and west Michigan are seeing more patients but remain well below the fall levels.

Case rates are highest in the Thumb counties, including St. Clair, and Macomb County. 

Excluding the earliest days of the pandemic when coronavirus testing was limited, the state reported its highest percent of COVID tests that came back positive — 17.9 percent — from 39,400 tests given. Over the past week, 16.2 percent of tests have been positive.

The state’s goal is to keep its positive test rate at 3 percent or lower. A high positive rate indicates more uncontrolled community spread of the deadly virus. — Mike Wilkinson


Tuesday, April 6

More than 3,500 in hospitals with COVID, largest weekly jump since last spring

The number of Michigan people hospitalized for COVID-19 rose by more than 200 Tuesday — and by more than 1,100 people in the past week, a 45 percent climb. That is the highest one-week increase since the earliest days of the pandemic.

There are now 3,554 COVID patients in Michigan hospitals, up from 3,334 on Monday and 2,446 a week ago.

Related: Michigan school COVID outbreaks surge 47% in 2 weeks; some return to remote

Hospitals across the state — but particularly in metro Detroit and the lower peninsula — are seeing rising hospitalizations. Michigan has the nation’s highest rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations by far, with 308 patients for every million residents.

New York has the second highest rate at 266 patients per million.

The increase comes as the state reported 4,964 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, along with 58 additional deaths, 16 of which followed a review of medical records. All of the deaths occurred in March and April.

Michigan’s rate of new infections, also the nation’s highest, is hitting the Thumb region hardest. Four counties in the Thumb now have a positive testing rate above 30 percent: Sanilac (32.6 percent), Tuscola (32.5), St. Clair (31.6) and Huron (30.7).

The state’s goal is to keep its positive test rate at 3 percent or lower. A high positive rate indicates more uncontrolled community spread of the deadly virus.

Only 17 of Michigan’s 83 counties have a positivity rate under 10 percent. In the past week, 15.8 percent of 285,000 COVID tests given across Michigan came back positive. On March 1 the weekly rate was under 4 percent.

No other state has a rate higher than 9.6 percent (South Dakota).

Mike Wilkinson


Monday, April 5

Michigan crosses 700,000 infections, leads nation in case, patient, positive rates

With 10,293 new COVID-19 infections reported Monday, Michigan has now exceeded 700,000 confirmed cases, with a total of 702,499 since the pandemic began over a year ago.

The reported cases cover the past two days amount to a 5,146 daily average. The state’s average daily rate over the past week, 5,961, is the highest for Michigan since early December.

The state also reported 21 confirmed COVID-19 deaths Monday, bringing the total state COVID-19 deaths to 16,239.

Related: Three Michigan people who died after vaccine actually had earlier COVID

Michigan now leads the nation in its rate of new infections per 100,000 people, hospitalized patients per 100,000, and in the percentage of coronavirus tests coming back as positive, according to a Bridge Michigan analysis of data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of 67,000 tests reported Monday, 16.6 percent came back positive. Over the past week, 15.6 percent of more than 239,000 tests have come back positive. The had maintained as its goal to remain at 3 percent positive or lower.

Cases remain high in counties north of Detroit, including St. Clair, Macomb and Lapeer and the Thumb counties of Sanilac, Huron and Tuscola. But they are rising in 63 of the state’s 83 counties.

Michigan also reported that nearly 3 million residents have gotten at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, with 2.95 million having started the vaccination process. Of those, 1.8 million have completed the vaccination process, either by getting the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or both doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.

Mike Wilkinson


Saturday, April 3 

Michigan reports 8,400 COVID cases, positivity rate nears 18 percent

Michigan is amidst its worst outbreak of COVID-19 since the height of the second wave in December, reporting 8,413 new cases on Saturday — the sixth most ever — as the state’s test positivity rate approached 18 percent.

Three counties — Macomb (1,279), Oakland (1,183) and suburban Wayne (1,068) — exceeded 1,000 new cases. But cases in the state’s Thumb region also continue to soar. St. Clair County reported 378 cases, and is now averaging 129 daily cases per 100,000 people, the highest rate in the state.

Related:

The state reported 17.6 percent of the 48,300 tests reported Saturday came back positive. For the past week, the average positivity rate was 15.1 percent, the highest at any point in the pandemic after last spring, when testing was far more limited.

The state’s goal during the pandemic is to keep the positivity rate at 3 percent or lower, which it has reached at times. A higher positivity rate indicates more community spread of the virus. 

Of the 57 deaths reported Saturday, 51 came after a review of medical records. All but two of the deaths occurred in March and April. One was recorded in December and another in January.

Despite the sharp jump in cases in Michigan, which currently has the highest rate in the nation, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has repeatedly indicated no new state restrictions are imminent.

She told reporters Friday that residents should continue to take advantage of the new coronavirus vaccines and remain vigilant by wearing masks, maintaining social distance and avoiding large gatherings. Mike Wilkinson


Friday, April 2

COVID hospitalizations rise 44 percent in week, Michigan reports 5,500 cases

Michigan hospitals continue to see a surge of COVID-19 patients, with 2,801 statewide patients on Friday, up 861 or 44 percent in a week.

The hospital caseload is rising fastest in metro Detroit where Macomb and St. Clair counties are seeing some of the highest infection rates.

Related: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer indicates no new MI COVID restrictions are coming

Overall the state reported 5,498 new COVID-19 cases and 20 additional COVID-19 deaths on Friday.

Out of the 37,900 COVID tests reported Friday across the state, 14.5 percent were positive. The state's goal is to get positivity rates down to 3 percent or less; a lower percentage indicates more control over community spread of the virus.

Michigan currently has the highest infection rate in the country and the highest percent positive rate. It ranks fourth in the number of COVID-19 patients per 1 million residents.— Mike Wilkinson


Thursday, April 1 

Michigan exceeds 6,000 COVID cases Thursday, has highest case rate in nation 

Michigan reported 6,036 new COVID-19 infections on Thursday, pushing the seven-day average to 5,061, the first time the average has exceeded 5,000 since Dec. 12.

The state also reported 49 additional COVID-19 deaths Thursday, 33 which followed a review of medical records.

Related: COVID vaccine for kids edges closer to reality, as cases surge in Michigan

Michigan now has the highest case rate, per 100,000, in the nation and the highest percentage of all coronavirus tests coming back positive — 12.8 percent of the 53,300 tests reported Thursday came back positive, and the rate was 13.5 percent of all tests over the past week.

Hospitalizations also continue to mount. As of Thursday there were  2,712 patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 in Michigan hospitals. That’s up nearly 800 from last Friday and more than double the 1,310 that were hospitalized as of March 19. Mike Wilkinson

Contagious Brazil COVID variant reaches Michigan

Another highly contagious variant of the COVID-19 virus has reached Michigan, state health officials said Thursday. 

A Bay County resident tested positive for the P.1 variant, also called the Brazil variant because it was first identified in travelers who flew out of that country in January. 

Related: Whitmer is holding off for now on Michigan COVID limits. Here’s why.

"This variant has been associated with increased transmissibility and there are concerns it might affect both vaccine-induced and natural immunity," the state health department said in a release. 

Michigan is averaging 4,945 daily cases over the past week, the steepest increase in cases in the country. Health officials continue to urge all Michigan adults to get vaccinated, and the department said available doses should also protect against the new variant. 

The Bay County Health Department learned of the variant on Wednesday, according to the release. It is investigating the infected individual's exposure history in an attempt to identify the source, and it is also recommending any recent contacts quarantine for 14 days. 

It's the second new variant identified in Bay County in as many weeks, according to health officer Joel Strasz, who said his department investigated three cases of the B.1.1.7 variant last week.

To date, Michigan has identified 1,468 cases of the B.1.1.7 U.K. variant in 51 different jurisdictions, along with seven cases of a B.1.135 South Africa variant.

Nationally, the CDC has reported 172 confirmed cases in 22 other states of the P.1 variant that originated in Brazil, where recent outbreaks have reportedly overwhelmed local hospital systems. - Jonathan Oosting


Wednesday, March 30

Michigan tops 6,300 COVID cases, highest since December 

Michigan reported 6,311 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest number of daily cases since Dec. 4 when 8,089 were reported.

The state is averaging 4,945 daily cases over the past week, the steepest increase in cases in the country.

Although it can take weeks or months to officially confirm daily death counts, the state reported 10 additional COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday.

Related: All is forgiven, Ohio*. Thanks for the COVID vaccine. Sincerely, Michigan.

The highest rates of new cases are occurring in Sanilac, St. Clair, Huron and Macomb counties, with Sanilac and St. Clair reporting over 100 new daily cases per 100,000 population. The rate is 99 new daily cases per 100,000 in Huron County and 89 new daily cases in Macomb.

Of the 40,900 tests reported Wednesday, 15.1 percent came back positive, marking the third straight day above 15 percent. Michigan now has the highest percentage of tests coming back positive in the nation. High test positivity rates indicate higher levels of community spread of the virus.  

Mike Wilkinson


Tuesday, March 30

Positive coronavirus tests above 15 percent; Michigan reports 5,177 new cases

Michigan now has the highest rate of positive coronavirus tests in the nation after 15.4 percent of tests reported Tuesday were positive.

For the past week, 12.4 percent of tests were positive, the highest rate in the country.

Michigan also now has the second-highest rate of new infections per 100,000, trailing only New Jersey. It reported 5,177 cases on Tuesday, giving it a seven-day average of 4,680.

The state also reported 46 new COVID-19 deaths, 20 of which came after review of medical records. 

Although deaths lag infections by weeks, the sustained decline in deaths that began in the second week of December has ended and has started to rise again as hospitalizations — hitting 2,446 on Tuesday, up 126 from Monday — have doubled in less than two weeks.

Related: COVID raged in Michigan prisons. Life outside isn’t easy either for parolees.

Northern metro Detroit, in particular Macomb and St. Clair counties, and the Thumb region are experiencing the biggest increases. Macomb County is averaging just over 80 new daily cases per 100,000, almost as much as it had during the second wave in December.

St. Clair County is at 99 daily cases per 100,000 while Huron and Sanilac are at 96 and 95. In the past week, a  third of all tests in Huron and Sanilac county are coming back positive; it’s 26 percent in St. Clair, 25 percent in neighboring Lapeer and 21 percent in Macomb.

The biggest jump in hospitalizations is in the region that includes St. Clair and Macomb counties, with 836 patients being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19. There were just 400 COVID-19 patients in that region less than 10 days ago.

Mike Wilkinson


Monday, March 29

Whitmer tells providers to vaccinate 16 and up; surge continues

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday said providers administering the coronavirus vaccines should not turn away anyone even though only those 50 and older are currently eligible.

Whitmer had targeted April 5 for the day everyone 16 and older can sign up for a vaccine, but expanded it as Michigan is experiencing one of the worst outbreaks in the nation.

Her pronouncement Monday urges providers to prioritize older residents, who are most vulnerable to serious illness and death, but to fill any unused slots with whoever wants the vaccine.

“In an effort to ensure no vaccine goes to waste, we continue to ask providers to fill every vaccine appointment with someone 16 years or older,” said Whitmer spokesperson Robert Leddy in an email to Bridge Michigan.

The announcement came hours after Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and officials in Kalamazoo County opened up vaccines to anyone 16 and older.

The state is expected to receive its largest shipments of vaccines this week — over 500,000 doses — and has already started vaccination on over 2.6 million people, with nearly 1.5 million having had both doses.

But the state is experiencing a COVID-19 surge, sending hundreds more into hospitals across the state with over 4,400 new cases a day on average. The vaccines are looked at as a bulwark against the jump in cases.

Related: COVID outbreaks jump 20 percent in Michigan schools. More closures ahead?

Twelve states have lowered the age of eligibility to those 16 and older, according to a survey of states by the New York Times. Whitmer wants to vaccinate 70 percent — or 5 million people — of the 8 million Michigan residents who are 16 and up. — Mike Wilkinson

Michigan has highest positive rate in nation

Michigan now has the highest coronavirus positive test rate in the country, as 12 percent of the past week’s tests were positive, including 15.6 percent of those reported Sunday.

On Monday, Michigan reported 8,202 cases for Sunday and Monday — for an average of 4,101 per day — along with eight additional COVID-19 deaths.

In addition to the highest positive rate, Michigan has the second-highest rate of new cases, trailing only New Jersey, according to a Bridge Michigan analysis of data compiled daily by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The surge has hospitalized 2,300 people in Michigan, up from 1,940 on Friday. That’s the second biggest jump since last May.

Most of that increase was reported in metro Detroit hospitals, with those in Oakland, Macomb and St. Clair counties reporting a 25 percent increase in three days.

Case rates are soaring in those counties too. Macomb County has a rate of 78 new daily cases per 100,000 people, up from 41 cases a week earlier, while the rate increased to 98 daily cases per 100,000 in St. Clair County from 63 and 49 per 100,000 from 29 in Oakland County.

Many of those infected are young and many of those hospitalized are younger than hospitals have seen in the previous waves.

In response, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan on Monday lowered the age of vaccine eligibility to 16 years old, a week in advance of when the state will officially drop the age to 16. — Mike Wilkinson

Related: Local transit systems in Michigan take lead on COVID vaccines for homebound


Saturday, March 27

554,000 vaccine doses expected 

Three coronavirus vaccine manufacturers are expected to ship more than 554,000 doses to Michigan this upcoming week, the most since mass vaccinations started in December.

The biggest increase comes from Pfizer, which is sending nearly 300,000 doses, about 30,000 more than its previous high. Moderna, as it has for over two months, is expected to ship just under 200,000 doses.

Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require two doses. Michigan is also getting over 58,000 doses from Johnson & Johnson, which is a single-dose vaccine.

Overall, 2.5 million Michigan residents over 16 have received a vaccine dose— and half of those have done so in the past 30 days, according to state figures. 

Because of increasing supplies, Michigan — like many states — has lowered the age eligibility to get a vaccine. People 50 and up can now get them. As of April 5, everyone 16 and older will be eligible.

Michigan, which is amid the biggest surge of cases in the nation, reported another 4,670 cases Saturday and 22 additional COVID-19 deaths.

Michigan has the third highest overall rate in the country but its numbers have shot up faster than either New Jersey or New York, the states with higher rates of new daily cases per 100,000 people.

Michigan also reported Saturday that 11.8 percent of over 42,000 tests came back positive. For the past week, over 10 percent of tests have been positive, also the third highest rate in the country.  — Mike Wilkinson

Related: Michigan tops U.S. in new COVID cases. Is it variants or just our turn?


Friday, March 26

Michigan surpasses 16,000 COVID deaths

Michigan reported 20 COVID-19 deaths on Friday, pushing the state’s total to more than 16,000 since the pandemic began last year.

The state also reported another 5,030 new confirmed coronavirus infections as it continues to record one of the fastest increases in new daily cases in the nation.

Over the past week, Michigan averaged 3,678 new cases a day — a 57 percent increase and more than double the 1,362 average daily cases two weeks ago.

And for the first time since Dec. 17, over 10 percent of the past week’s coronavirus tests came back positive, including 10.2 percent of those reported Friday.

Though case rates are rising across much of the Lower Peninsula, they went above 100 (106) per 100,000 in Huron County in the Thumb, where several school districts have seen outbreaks. 

The rate hit 83 daily cases per 100,000 in nearby St. Clair County. In Macomb County, the state’s third most populous county, the new daily rate hit 60 cases per 100,000, up from 34 a week ago and just 10 daily cases per 100,000 a month ago — Mike Wilkinson

Related: Teacher retirements soar in Michigan schools amid COVID pandemic


Thursday, March 25

Michigan cases top 5,000

Michigan reported 5,224 new coronavirus cases Thursday, the most since 5,937 were reported Dec. 10.

The state also reported 49 new COVID-19 deaths, 30 of which came after a review of medical records.

Hospitalizations continued to climb, especially in the suburbs north of Detroit, with the state now reporting 1,858 patients being treated with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, up 278 or 17 percent since Monday.

The sudden rise has caused the Beaumont Health system in southeast Michigan to limit visitation of patients in its hospitals, effective Thursday, and triggered concern among hospital leaders across the state.

“We have noticed an alarming rise in COVID-19 cases in metro Detroit over the past few weeks,” said Dr. Nick Gilpin, medical director of Infection Prevention and Epidemiology for Beaumont Health.

The state reported that 9.8 percent of tests reported Thursday came back positive and 9.5 percent of all tests in the past week were positive.

Michigan has the fourth-highest rate of positive tests in the country and the third-highest rate of cases, according to daily data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. — Mike Wilkinson

Related: Michigan’s plan to get more Republicans to take COVID vaccine


Wednesday, March 24

More than 4,400 new cases

Michigan’s coronavirus surge surpassed 4,000 new cases for the first time in more than two months, with 4,454 new cases reported Wednesday.

The cases pushed the seven-day average to 3,122. Michigan now has the third-highest rate of new daily cases, surpassed only by New Jersey and New York. The last time Michigan saw this many cases was on Jan. 9 when it averaged 3,178 daily cases.

The state saw 11.3 percent of nearly 37,800 coronavirus tests come back positive, pushing the seven-day rate to 8.8 percent. That’s the fourth-highest rate in the country.

Outside of the Upper Peninsula, the increases are being seen across almost the entire state, from metro Detroit to the Thumb to central and northern Michigan. Public health officials believe variants like the B.1.1.7 variant first discovered in the United Kingdom is playing a role; it is considered more transmissible than the predominant strain of the coronavirus.

The spikes have caused widespread outbreaks in schools and have triggered an increase in hospitalizations. Because deaths lag two weeks or more after infections, it is still too early to tell if this wave, the state’s third sustained one since the coronavirus struck the state in March 2020, will be as lethal as those in the spring of 2020 and again from October through January.

All told, 15,935 Michigan residents are confirmed to have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. The state reported 16 deaths on Wednesday. Because over 1.1 million people 65 and older have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine — and nearly 800,000 have had both — public health officials hope there will be far fewer deaths. Older residents are making up a far smaller fraction of current cases than during past spikes.

— Mike Wilkinson

Related: Michigan schools reopened. Then came a spike in COVID outbreaks


Wednesday, March 23

Patient surge worries Michigan hospital industry

A sudden jump in COVID-19 patients has hit Michigan’s hospitals, with those in northern Michigan and metro Detroit seeing a 40 percent to 50 percent increase in patients in less than a week.

The number of patients treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 jumped from 400 last Friday to 568 on Wednesday in the region that includes Oakland, Macomb and St. Clair counties. In the same time period in the northwestern lower peninsula, COVID-19 patients have increased from 46 to 65, a 41 percent jump.

The Michigan Health and Hospital Association called the jump “alarming” Wednesday, pointing out that many of the patients are adults who have not been vaccinated, particularly those in their 30s and 40s.

The good news is that fewer of the patients are 60 or older, for which COVID-19 has been most lethal. Over 80 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in Michigan have been among those 60 and older.

But as cases have risen, many of the latest victims are younger ages, including school-age children who may, in turn, be infecting their parents and others in their households. The state is currently seeing a sharp increase in outbreaks at K-12 schools.

Until next week, only those 50 and older or those with underlying health conditions are eligible for a coronavirus vaccine in Michigan. 

The eligibility will be opened to everyone 16 and older beginning on April 5.

“Michigan is making progress at ultimately defeating the COVID-19 pandemic through increasing vaccination rates, but the war is not yet over,” said MHA Chief Medical Officer Gary Roth. He urged state residents to wear masks, wash their hands, avoid crowds and get the vaccine.

According to the MHA, hospitalizations increased by 633 percent for adults ages 30-39 and by 800 percent for adults ages 40-49 between March 1 to March 23. They also found that hospitalization growth rates decline as the vaccination rates per age group increases.

Hospitalizations for those 80 or older grew 37 percent; 44 percent of that age group has been fully vaccinated.

Mike Wilkinson


Tuesday, March 23

3,579 new cases on Tuesday, positivity rate hits 12%

Michigan reported 3,579 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, pushing the seven-day daily average to 2,938 as 12 percent of tests came back positive.

Michigan is amid a steep increase in weekly cases, which have tripled in a month.  The state has the fourth-highest rate of new confirmed or probable cases per 100,000 in the country.

On Tuesday, the state reported that 12 percent of tests came back positive, up from 10 percent the day before. The state now has the fourth-highest positive rate in the nation.

Michigan also reported 16 additional COVID-19 deaths, eight of which followed a review of medical records. All of the deaths occurred in March.

The state also reported 1,687 patients being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19, an increase of 107 in one day. Mike Wilkinson


Monday, March 22

Michigan hospitalizations jump 20 percent

A month-long surge in new cases has pushed Michigan coronavirus hospitalizations up more than 20 percent since Friday, with hospitals treating 270 additional COVID-19 patients as of Monday.

Hospitalizations are up most in metro Detroit and in northern and western areas of the lower peninsula.

There are now 1,580 patients being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19, up from 1,310 on Friday. It’s the biggest gain since Nov. 9 when the state saw 390 new patients.

Despite weeks of rising cases, Michigan had seen hospitalizations grow more slowly in the past month than they had during the second wave that ran from October through mid-January and the hope was that the vaccination of over 2.2 million state residents would help limit instances of serious illness. 

The state reported 4,801 new cases on Monday covering a two-day period, for an average of 2,400 per day. The seven-day average now stands at 2,719 new daily cases. The state reported six new deaths Monday.

Since the pandemic began there have been 629,612 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 15,093 confirmed deaths.

Over the weekend, 8.8 percent of tests came back positive and 7.7 percent over the past week, up from 5.8 percent the previous week. Higher test positivity rates indicate greater community spread of the virus.  

Mike Wilkinson

Related: As COVID spread, far fewer Michigan high school grads enrolled in college


Saturday, March 20

Michigan reports 47 COVID-19 deaths, 2,660 new cases

A greater portion of coronavirus tests are coming back positive across Michigan, with 8.5 percent of all tests reported Saturday confirming a new infection.

That pushes the rate over the past week to 7.3 percent. It was 5.2 percent a week earlier.

Those higher rates produced 2,660 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Saturday, pushing the seven-day average to 2,482 daily cases. Michigan now has the fourth-highest rate of new infections in the country.

The state also reported 47 deaths, including 39 that came after a review of medical records. Of the deaths, 39 were in March, three in February, and the rest in earlier months.

Counties in Michigan’s Thumb region — St. Clair, Sanilac and Huron — continue to have the highest growth in overall case rates. Huron County is now averaging 71 new daily cases for every 100,000 people, up from 39 the week before. Sanilac is at 66 daily cases per 100,000 (up from 29) and St. Clair is at 57, up from 31 daily cases per 100,000.

Wexford County, in the northwestern Lower Peninsula, has the highest rate at 75 cases per 100,000.

Just over a month ago, on Feb. 18, no county had a positive test rate over 10 percent and statewide just under 3 percent were coming back positive. 

On Saturday, the state’s testing data shows that 21 counties have a positive rate exceeding 10 percent, including populous counties Macomb, suburban Wayne and Genesee. — Mike Wilkinson

Related: Whitmer: COVID tests for student athletes, but more fans for Detroit Tigers


Friday, March 19

Cases rise over 3,700

Coronavirus cases are quickly growing in Michigan, as the state reported 3,730 new cases on Friday, with more than 500 of those apiece coming from Oakland, Macomb and suburban Wayne counties.

The new cases put the state’s seven-day average at 2,339 cases per day. Michigan is now tied (with Delaware) for the third-highest rate per 100,000 people in the country. Only New Jersey and Rhode Island have higher rates.

The jump comes on the same day Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced expanded capacity at Comerica Park for Detroit Tigers’ baseball while adding new testing requirements on high school athletes.

Some of the higher rates of new infections are among those 10 to 19 years old, and state officials said there are many outbreaks tied to youth sports. In the past day, those 10 to 19 comprised 19 percent of all cases; overall that age group has made up just 10 percent of cases.

New testing data shows that 7.3 percent of more than 44,500 tests came back positive and over the past week 6.8 percent have been positive. It was 5 percent the week before.

The biggest increases are in the Thumb, from St. Clair County to Huron County, and in the northern Lower Peninsula, including Missaukee, Wexford, Otsego and Roscommon counties.

The state also reported 15 new COVID-19 deaths on Friday.

Hospitalizations rose again to 1,310 confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, up from 1,237. The 73-patient increase is the largest since rates started rising in mid-February. — Mike Wilkinson

 

Thursday, March 18

Cases jump to 2,629

Michigan’s recent increase in coronavirus infections continued Thursday, with the state reporting 2,629 new confirmed cases. That raised the seven-day average to 2,149, the highest since Jan. 17, when it was 2,229.

The state also reported 25 new COVID-19 deaths, including 24 that came following a review of medical records. Of the 25 deaths, one was last July, while one was in January, another in February and the rest in March.

The number of patients hospitalized for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 rose to 1,237, up by 60 from Wednesday.

Testing data showed that 6.2 percent of more than 49,500 tests came back positive. Over the past week, an average of 6.4 percent of tests have been positive, up from 4.8 percent the week before.

Fifteen counties now have a positive rate over 10 percent over the past week, including Missaukee County in the northern Lower Peninsula with the highest rate at 25.2 percent. Macomb County, the third most populous county, has a positive rate of 11.5 percent over the past week. — Mike Wilkinson


Wednesday, March 17

New cases top 3,000 for first time since January

New coronavirus infections are rising rapidly in Michigan, with the state reporting 3,164 confirmed cases Wednesday but no additional deaths.

It is the first day with more than 3,000 cases since Jan. 19, when there were 3,625.

While cases have increased markedly in the past three weeks, a smaller portion of cases involve those who are 60 years old or older and considered the most vulnerable to the virus.

That could be because of a surge in vaccinations, with half of the state’s 2 million-plus vaccines going to those 65 and older.

In the past 10 days, residents 60 and older have comprised just 13.8 percent of all coronavirus cases in Michigan. Before the vaccination program started in earnest in early January, those age groups made up over 23 percent of cases, almost equal to their representation in the overall population.

That age group was targeted for early vaccinations because those over 60 comprise over 80 percent of COVID-19 deaths.

Cases are rising quickly in many parts of the state, including Macomb County in metro Detroit, where over 10 percent of the past week’s tests have come back positive and the daily case rate per 100,000 residents has gone from 17 to 29 new daily cases.

The biggest increases are coming in St. Clair County (doubling to 45 cases per 100,000 from last week), Oakland County (20 per 100,000 from 12), Monroe County (27 per 100,000 from 19) and parts of northern Michigan.

Only three states — New Jersey, Rhode Island and Delaware — have higher rates of new confirmed or probable coronavirus cases over the past week, according to a Bridge Michigan analysis of data compiled daily by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the CDC, Michigan is averaging 24 new daily cases of confirmed or suspected coronavirus per 100,000 people (it’s 21 confirmed cases per 100,000). 

On March 1, the state ranked 43rd with 11 confirmed or probable cases per 100,000.

Of more than 36,100 tests reported Wednesday, 6.3 percent were positive. Over the past week, over 6 percent of all tests were positive, up from 4.5 percent of the tests the preceding week. — Mike Wilkinson

Related: No doubt: Third surge of COVID has hit Michigan. Can we vaccinate fast enough?


Tuesday, March 16

2,048 cases and 27 deaths 

Michigan reported 2,048 new coronavirus cases and 27 deaths Tuesday as the daily positive test rate approached 9 percent for the first time since early January.

The cases bring the seven-day average to 1,951, up from 1,795 on Tuesday. It was 1,250 a week ago, an increase of 56 percent.

Michigan now has the nation’s seventh highest rate of new daily cases per 100,000, with 22 confirmed or suspected new daily cases per 100,000. Just 10 days ago, the state had the 43rd highest rate.

The percent of coronavirus tests coming back positive has risen sharply in the past week, to 8.6 percent of the 20,900 tests reported Tuesday coming back positive. That’s up from 5.6 percent just eight days ago.

The rate had hovered about 3.4-3.6 percent from mid-February until early March when it began rising. Hospitalizations rose again too, up 30 from Monday to 1,124 COVID-19 patients.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 612,628 confirmed cases and 15,810 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

The state also reported that nearly 2 million people have gotten a vaccine dose. As of Tuesday, the state said over 1.98 million “first” doses have been administered and, of those, 1.1 million have gotten both.

Nearly 19,000 of those have received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. — Mike Wilkinson

Related: Michigan ranks second in COVID variant cases as state hits ‘tipping point’


Monday, March 15

3,143 cases over two-day span

Michigan reported 3,143 new confirmed coronavirus cases Monday, covering the previous two days for an average of 1,571 daily cases.

That pushes the seven-day average to 1,795, up from 1,626 on Saturday and 1,250 a week earlier, a 44 percent jump in seven days.

More than 6.8 percent of the reported tests from the weekend were positive, pushing the seven-day rate to 5.5 percent. Cases and positive tests have risen for over three weeks.

Hospitalizations jumped 96 since Friday, with 1,094 patients now being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19. It’s the first time since Feb. 12 the number has exceeded 1,000.

The state also reported nine new deaths over the two days. — Mike Wilkinson

Related: One year into pandemic, these numbers frame Michigan’s uneven recovery


Saturday, March 13

Michigan reports 1,659 cases

Michigan reported 1,659 new confirmed coronavirus infections Saturday, pushing the seven-day average up again, this time to 1,626 cases, a rate not seen since late Jan. 29 —  when it was 1,631 a day and case counts were still falling.

The state also reported that of nearly 36,600 coronavirus tests, 5.4 percent came back positive, pushing the seven-day rate to 5 percent. It was 4 percent a week ago and 3.4 percent two weeks ago.

A lower positivity rate indicates more control over community spread of the virus and the state has hoped to keep the rate at 3 percent or lower.

The state also reported 38 new COVID-19 deaths, including 30 that came after a review of medical records. Of those, one occurred in November, six in January, nine in February and 22 in March.

Since the pandemic began in March 2020, there have been 607,437 confirmed cases and 15,774 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. — Mike Wilkinson

Related: Gretchen Whitmer opening MI COVID vaccines brings excitement and wariness


Friday, March 12

Michigan COVID cases surge, more than 2,400 Friday

Michigan is experiencing a sustained increase in new coronavirus infections, with the 2,403 confirmed cases reported Friday driving a 32-percent increase in just one week.

The cases have pushed infection rates up in many counties, but especially in metro Detroit, where suburban Wayne County reported 368 cases Friday, the most in the state. That’s pushed that county’s rate up from 15 daily cases per 100,000 people to 21 cases per 100,000 in just a week, a 40 percent increase. 

Macomb County (which went from 15 to 20 cases per 100,000) and Oakland County (10 to 14 per 100,000) saw similar increases.

St. Clair County more than doubled: from 13 daily cases per 100,000 to 28.

The state hasn’t seen a daily case count this high since Jan. 15, when 2,598 cases were reported.

But the case surge has not yet produced a corresponding rise in deaths or hospitalizations, which may be linked to the more than one million Michigan residents who have now had at least one dose of a vaccine. 

Michigan reported seven new COVID-19 deaths Friday. 

Since the pandemic began there have been 15,737 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 605,778 confirmed coronavirus cases.

The increases in cases, continuing for three weeks, have only spurred a modest increase in hospitalizations —  up by 11 patients to 998 hospitalized for COVID around the state Friday. 

Meanwhile, of the more than 47,000 coronavirus tests reported Friday, 5.3 percent came back positive, another ominous sign after weeks of seeing that rate below 4 percent. The seven-day rate is 4.8 percent; it was 3 percent just two weeks ago.

A lower positivity rate indicates more control over community spread of the virus and the state has hoped to keep the rate at 3 percent or lower.

Despite the increase in new cases, the Michigan Department of Corrections will allow face-to-face visitations with prisoners after more than a year of banning them because of the pandemic.

Nearly 24,500 prisoners or staff in the state prison system have contracted COVID-19 and there have been 146 reported deaths, according to the latest figures.

— Mike Wilkinson


Michigan residents 16 and older eligible for COVID vaccine by April 5

All Michiganders 16 and older, regardless of health status, will be eligible for a COVID vaccine beginning April 5, the state announced Friday.

It’s possible for the agency to do this now because of the expectation for more vaccines to flood into Michigan, said Kerry Ott, spokesperson for the department that covers Luce, Mackinac, Algiers and Schoolcraft counties.

For people 16 and older with a disability or medical condition that place them at higher risk from COVID-19, eligibility will begin March 22, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday. The state had previously said only residents 50 or older, regardless of health issues, were eligible beginning March 22.  DETAILS >>


Thursday, March 11

More than 1M vaccinated in Michigan; cases rising fast

Michigan reported that just over 1 million residents have now been fully vaccinated — either getting both doses of the vaccines that require two or one of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The state has now fully vaccinated nearly 18 percent of the 5.7 million people 16 and over that it wants to vaccinate to achieve herd immunity. 

All told, 1.8 million have received at least one dose of the two-dose vaccines and 1,010,866 of those have gotten both doses. 

Related: Michigan residents 16 and older eligible for COVID vaccine by April 5

Both the vaccines from Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna require two doses.

Around the state, the percentage coverage varies greatly. In Schoolcraft, Ontonagon, Grand Traverse, Mackinac and Iron counties — all in northern Michigan or the Upper Peninsula — over 20 percent of those 16 and older have gotten both doses. Detroit and Cass County, meanwhile, have only vaccinated about 5 percent of their 16 and older populations.

According to CDC data, Michigan 32nd nationally in the rate of administering first doses and 25th in administering both doses. — Mike Wilkinson


Michigan cases rising fastest in Midwest

Michigan reported 2,091 news coronavirus cases Thursday, pushing the state to the 17th highest rate in the nation, with 17 confirmed or probable cases per 100,000 people.

Michigan now has the highest rate in the Great Lakes region, and its increase has been quick: It had the 43rd highest rate less than a week ago, on March 5, when there were 11 cases per 100,000 in Michigan.

The increase comes as normal activities resume, with data compiled by the state Monday showing a sustained increase in mobility since about the beginning of February.

Those cases have also triggered an increase in hospitalizations, with 987 people being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 as of Thursday, up from 942 on Wednesday and 890 a week ago.

The news comes as vaccine manufacturers told Michigan officials they will deliver 20,000 more doses next week than this week, with the state expecting a total of 443,000 doses from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

Manufacturers have increased supplies for three consecutive weeks, and more than 1 in 6 residents — 18.4 percent — have had at least one dose of the vaccine.

Testing data showed that of 45,400 tests reported Thursday, 4.4 percent came back positive.  A lower positivity rate indicates more control over community spread of the virus and the state was averaging below 4 percent for nearly a month until late last week. — Mike Wilkinson


Wednesday, March 10

Michigan passes 600,000 cases

One year after Michigan’s first confirmed coronavirus case, the state passed the 600,000 case threshold with 2,316 new confirmed infections, the highest single-day count since Jan. 15.

The new cases pushed the seven-day average to 1,362, the highest since it was 1,370 on Feb. 4. There have now been 601,284 confirmed cases. With seven new COVID-19 deaths, the state has reported 15,707 over the course of the past year.

The first confirmed coronavirus infection was documented on March 10, 2020, though thousands of undetected cases were likely rampant in Michigan at the time, when there was limited testing ability.

Cases have risen in Michigan for the past three weeks and Wednesday’s numbers continue that climb, likely spurred by more mobility and the loosening of restrictions on businesses and gatherings.

A month ago, only two states had lower rates of new infections than Michigan. As of Tuesday, Michigan now ranks 26th highest case rate, according to a Bridge Michigan analysis of data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of the 36,200 tests reported Wednesday, 4.7 percent came back positive. The seven-day rate rose to 4.3 percent, the highest since Feb. 4. A lower positivity rate indicates more control over community spread of the virus.

On Feb. 10, Michigan had the 39th highest positive test rate. It now stands at 27th as other states see rates fall and Michigan’s has risen. — Mike Wilkinson


Tuesday, March 9

Michigan positive rate hits 6 percent

For the first time in more than five weeks Michigan saw the percent of positive coronavirus tests hit 6 percent on Tuesday, pushing the seven-day average to 4.2 percent.

Since the end of the second wave of the virus in mid-January, the positive test rate — considered an indicator of how fast the virus is spreading —  had fallen and stabilized around 3.5 percent.

But in the past 10 days  it has started to rise, hitting 6 percent of the 17,500 people tested for COVID-19 reported Tuesday. The seven-day average had remained below 4 percent for 26 consecutive days till hitting 4.1 percent on Saturday.

The positive test rate has climbed as cases have risen. State health officials said the two were expected to rise once some restrictions were lifted on Michigan businesses in February. The state lifted further restrictions late last week.

Michigan also reported 29 newly confirmed deaths tied to COVID-19 Tuesday, including 21 involving past deaths after a review of medical records. Of the 29 total deaths, one occurred in August, 4 in February and the rest in March.

Hospitalizations in the state have also risen: 954 patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 now being treated in hospitals across Michigan, up from 935 on Monday and from 821 on Feb. 21.

— Mike Wilkinson

 


Monday, March 8

1,960 new cases and four deaths over the weekend 

Michigan reported 1,960 confirmed cases of coronavirus and four deaths for Sunday and Monday, a daily average of 980.

The seven-day average of daily cases rose to 1,266, up from 1,107 a week ago.

Testing results show that about 4.8 percent 39,600 rests reported the past two days came back positive, pushing the seven-day rate to 4.2 percent. A week ago the seven-day positive rate was 3.5 percent.

A lower positivity rate indicates more control over community spread of the virus. — Mike Wilkinson


Saturday, March 6

1,289 new cases reported Saturday

Michigan reported 1,289 confirmed cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to 596,054.

The new daily average over the past week is 1,210 cases, up from 1,191. It has risen on 12 of the last 14 days and is now 45 percent higher than it was two weeks ago when the daily average was 832 cases.

The state also reported 56 COVID-19 deaths, including 48 that followed a review of medical records. There are now 15,666 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. — Mike Wilkinson


Friday, March 5

1,486 cases and 10 deaths

Michigan reported 1,486 coronavirus infections and 10 deaths Friday, raising the seven-day daily average to 1,191 from 1,131.

The case increases are most pronounced in metro Detroit, where the rate of new daily cases per 100,000 residents rose to 15 from 10 in the past week in Macomb and suburban Wayne counties and to 10 from eight in Oakland County.

Deaths have decreased dramatically since December, when 3,326 people died. They’ve fallen to 1,825 in January, 707 in February and 34 so far in March. Throughout the pandemic, Michigan has had 594,765 confirmed infections and 15,610 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

Of more than 44,600 tests reported Friday, 4 percent came back positive, with 3.9 percent of the past week’s tests coming back positive. It was 3.4 percent for the preceding week.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration has set the state's target goal at 3 percent or lower. A lower positivity rate indicates more control over community spread of the virus. 

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 fell Friday to 866, down from 890. — Mike Wilkinson


Thursday, March 4

Coronavirus cases up to 1,536

Coronavirus cases are slightly increasing statewide, with 1,536 confirmed cases and 37 deaths reported Thursday.

The biggest increases are in southeast Michigan, where cases in the past week increased 34 percent in Macomb County, 39 percent in Oakland County and 57 percent in suburban Wayne County. Statewide, average daily cases increased 10 percent, from 1,022 last week to 1,132 on Thursday.

However, the overall rates in each county are still below 13 new daily cases per 100,000, well below December’s statewide rate of 72 new daily cases per 100,000. That month, some counties averaged more than 100 cases per 100,000.

Thursday’s death toll includes 29 from a review of medical records.

Of nearly 46,200 tests reported Thursday, 3.5 percent came back positive and the rate over the past seven days was 3.7 percent, the highest since Feb. 11 when the weekly rate was 3.8 percent. — Mike Wilkinson


Thursday, March 4

Coronavirus cases are on the increase

Michigan recorded 1,536 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, the most since 1,774 were reported Jan. 29, according to the state department of health and human services. 

The totals push the seven-day average to 1,113 daily cases. Just two weeks ago, the seven-day average was 847. 

The state also reported five new COVID-19 deaths Wednesday.

Since the pandemic began, Michigan has reported 591,753 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 15,558 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

Case counts in Michigan have risen for over a week, coming after more than two months of declines. But the daily case rates, though climbing, are still a small fraction of where they were when Michigan was hit by the second wave of cases in November and December.

The state is now averaging 11 new daily cases per 100,000, up from 8 just 10 days ago. But in early December, there were as many as 72 daily cases per 100,000 people.

Suburban Wayne County, with new 158 cases, led the state Wednesday, followed by Oakland (125 cases) and Macomb (91 cases). Much of the lower peninsula is seeing cases rise while there were only 11 cases across the 15 counties of the Upper Peninsula

Testing data release Wednesday showed 4 percent of more than 35,700 COVID tests came back positive, and 3.6 percent over the past seven days.

Hospitalizations were down, with 882 patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 being treated as of Wednesday, down from 959 on Tuesday.

— Mike Wilkinson


Tuesday, March 2

Notable jump in COVID-19 hospitalizations Tuesday 

After more than two months of steady declines, Michigan’s hospitals are seeing an increase in COVID-19 patients, nearing 1,000 patients statewide. It’s one in a handful of alarming trends in recent days, and comes as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced some relaxation of COVID protocols.  

On Tuesday, the state reported 959 confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients being treated, that’s a rise of 66 patients from Monday. It is the largest increase since Nov. 30 when the state hospitals added 229 patients.

Most of the increase is occurring in hospitals in the six counties of metro Detroit, state data shows.

The increase in hospitalizations is another sign that a steady decline in statewide COVID infections has stalled, with a recent uptick in new infections. 

The state reported 1,067 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday and 24 deaths.

The state also reported 5 percent of the coronavirus tests recorded Monday came back positive, the highest level in three weeks.

Despite the latest numbers, Michigan remains well below levels from late last year. In early December, more than 4,300 COVID-19 patients were being treated, the state was averaging nearly 7,000 cases a day, an average of 100 people were dying of COVID-19 every day and the positive test rate was between 12 and 16 percent.

In December alone, 3,325 people were confirmed to have died of COVID-19, making it the second deadliest month of the pandemic after April 2020.

Since the pandemic began, the state has seen 590,217 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 15,558 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

— Mike Wilkinson

Monday, March 2 

Cases down 95 percent at nursing homes; 12 deaths statewide over 2 days

Coronavirus cases continued to decline dramatically this week at Michigan’s nursing homes and other senior care facilities, which were among the first to receive vaccines, according to the latest data.

Over the past week there were 44 new coronavirus cases, down from 73 a week before and from 827 the week ending Dec. 28, a decline that is far steeper than the state’s overall drop in cases.

The weekly number of cases in long-term care facilities has fallen 95 percent since Dec. 28, compared to statewide which is down 54 percent.

More than 238,000 vaccine doses have been administered in nursing homes, homes for the aged, adult foster care and other senior living facilities, to both residents and staff.

Officials have said a greater percentage of staff declined the vaccine than residents but staff have also seen a sharp decline in weekly cases too. There were 99 staff cases last week, down from 125 the week before. Since Dec. 28, when there were 727 cases,  they’ve fallen 87 percent.

Experts told Bridge Michigan the steep decline in nursing home cases is a result of the vaccine campaign. Nursing home residents and those in homes for the aged and adult foster care facilities have been the hardest hit by the pandemic, accounting for more than 5,500 — 37 percent — of the more than 15,500 COVID-19 deaths in Michigan. — Mike Wilkinson


Monday, March 2

Weekend cases average 784 per day

Michigan public health officials on Monday reported an average of 784 new coronavirus cases for Sunday and Monday and 12 total COVID-19 deaths.

The state's seven-day average is now 1,107 cases a day, up from 1,101 a day on Saturday.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 587,581 confirmed cases and 15,522 deaths in Michigan.

Hospitalizations rose over the weekend, to 893 patients being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19, up from 841 on Friday. It is the first time the number of patients rose over a weekend since Nov. 30. The number of COVID-19 patients had fallen steadily from Dec. 1, when it peaked at 4.326 and hit a low of 821 Thursday.

Test results from over 47,000 tests showed 4 percent were positive over the previous two days. The seven-day rate remained at 3.4 percent. — Mike Wilkinson


Saturday, Feb. 27

1,156 cases, 68 deaths

Michigan public health officials reported 1,156 confirmed cases of coronavirus on Saturday and 68 deaths.

The cases total pushed the seven-day daily average to 1,095, up from 1,020.

The deaths include six recent ones and 62 that were determined after a review of medical records of earlier deaths. Fifth-three of the 68 total deaths occurred in February, 12 in January, three in November, and one each in October and December.

Since the pandemic began, Michigan has reported 587,581 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 15,522 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. There are another 57,969 probable coronavirus cases and 986 probable COVID-19 deaths.

Of nearly 36,000 coronavirus tests reported Saturday, 3.4 percent were positive. The rate for the past week has been 3.5 percent, just above the state’s target goal of 3 percent or lower. A lower positivity rate indicates more control over community spread of the virus. 

The state does not report hospitalization or vaccine data on weekends. Mike Wilkinson


Michigan poised for big surge in vaccine doses 

The two manufacturers of the coronavirus vaccines have told Michigan they intend to ship more than 400,000 doses combined to the state next week, the most in any week since the vaccines first became available in mid-December.

Pfizer-BioNTech will ship nearly 213,000 doses and Moderna will ship 190,000, according to Lynn Sutfin, a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The combined total is well above the 326,000 shipped in the first week of February.

The two manufacturers, along with a third, Johnson & Johnson, which is awaiting U.S. approval for its vaccine, told Congress this week that they expect to collectively ship 140 million doses across the United States by the end of March. Michigan, which typically receives 3 percent of the shipments, would stand to get 4 million new doses by the end of March, dwarfing the 2.6 million doses it’s received over the previous 11 weeks.

The most the state has administered in a given week was 321,000 two weeks ago, an average of nearly 46,000 doses a day.

But, Sutfin said the state has the capacity to administer 80,000 doses a day and local health officials have told Bridge Michigan the only thing limiting them is the supply.

As of Friday, 1.35 million Michigan residents have gotten at least one dose of the vaccines — the current vaccines each require two doses — and 774,000 of those have gotten both. The state is currently focusing on people ages 65 and older, and essential workers including teachers.

— Mike Wilkinson


Cases creeping back up, but positive rates still low

Michigan reported 1,073 new coronavirus cases on Friday, as daily average cases are rising in all but one region of the state.

The increase in cases the past week has pushed the seven-day daily case average past 1,000, to 1,020 from 816 one week ago. But some regions are rising faster than others.

In the northern Lower Peninsula region covering most of the north, from Presque Isle County to Lake Michigan, the daily case rate jumped 77 percent in the past week, from 6 cases per 100,000 residents to nearly 11 per 100,000 residents.

Other increases included:

  • 57 percent (6.9 cases per 100,000 to 10.8) in the region that stretches from Genesee County, the Thumb and the Lake Huron shore counties.
  • 26 percent (9.2 to 11.6 cases per 100,000) for south central Michigan, from the Ohio border to north of Lansing.
  • 21 percent (9.2 to 11.2 cases per 100,00) for southwest Michigan
  • 22 percent (7.7 to 9.4 cases per 100,000) in metro Detroit.

Cases decreased in the 13 counties of west Michigan, from 9.8 to 9.3 per 100,000.

The state also reported one new COVID-19 death.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 585,425 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 15,454 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

In testing, of the 41,300 tests reported Friday, 3 percent came back positive.

For the first time since early December, the number of patients being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 did not decline from Monday through Friday. The 841 patients reported Friday was the same as on Monday and an increase of 20 from Thursday.— Mike Wilkinson


Thursday, Feb. 25

Average daily coronavirus cases in Michigan jump back over 1,000

For the first time in two weeks, the daily average number of coronavirus cases climbed back over 1,000 to 1,037, as Michigan on Thursday announced 1,388 new confirmed cases.

The number of cases marks the third consecutive day of more than 1,200 cases after they were below 1,000 for 13 of the previous 16 days.

Despite the increase in cases, there are other positive data points, with the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations continuing to fall, as has the percent of positive coronavirus tests.

There are now 821 patients being treated for suspected or confirmed COVID-19, the fewest since there were 800 on Oct. 5. And 2.9 percent of 48,700 tests reported Thursday came back positive, below the desired threshold sought by state officials.

A lower positivity rate indicates more control over community spread of the virus. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s goal is to keep the statewide rate at or below 3 percent.

The state also reported 48 new COVID-19 deaths, 30 of which came after a review of medical records. One of the deaths occurred in December, another in January and the rest were in February.

In terms of cases, suburban Wayne County, with 168 new cases, had the most, followed by Macomb (145) and Oakland (121) counties. Each has seen a slight increase in the average number of daily cases.

The daily rate of cases per 100,000 has risen in 49 of the 83 counties and Detroit, though overall still well below the rate seen during the second wave of coronavirus cases seen in November and December. — Mike Wilkinson


Wednesday, Feb. 25

Whitmer hints she may loosen nursing home restrictions

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Wednesday she may soon loosen restrictions on nursing home visitation that have been in place since COVID arrived in Michigan nearly a year ago.

Michigan now is in “a much stronger position” in its fight against the virus, Whitmer said during a news conference in which she covered several topics. Whitmer didn’t specify what factors put the state in that position. But Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive, noted at the same press event that new coronavirus cases had fallen in the state for six weeks, and tests positivity rates and hospitalizations had declined as well. (Though the number of new cases has risen the past two days.) 

“We're hopeful that we'll be able to announce additional aspects of reengagement” in visitation policies “hopefully as soon as next week,” Whitmer said. The governor offered no details on how the rules might change or a timeline.

She also called on Republicans to release federal funds that could, among other things, cover costs for more rapid antigen tests. Those tests can be given to family members of those in long-term care facilities before they’re allowed entrance.

Earlier in the day, industry leaders and family members of long-term care residents once again called for broader access to facilities.

“When this began, we had very little with which to fight the virus. We knew it was deadly for seniors … that (they) had all the wrong checks in their check boxes in terms of comorbidities and medical complications,” said David Gehm of Wellspring Lutheran Services, which operates long-term care facilities throughout the state.

He was speaking to the House Health Policy Committee.

“But things have changed,” Gehm said. “We've seen changes in case counts, we've seen changes in mortality, we’ve seen additions to our arsenal.”

-- by Robin Erb 


Over 300 B.1.1.7. variant cases in Michigan 

Michigan public health officials have now identified 314 cases of the B.1.1.7. variant of the coronavirus, the variant considered more transmissible than others.

The cases, first discovered in Washtenaw County, have now been identified across 19 counties in the state, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive, said at a Wednesday news conference.

National experts predict the variant, which spreads more quickly than the new coronavirus first detected in Michigan last March, could be the more dominant coronavirus by the end of this March, she said.

The state also reported 1,245 newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus Wednesday, pushing the seven-day average to 966, up from 925. The number of daily cases had been falling since mid-January but that decline has plateaued.

They also reported nine additional COVID-19-related deaths.

Of the 37,700 coronavirus tests reported Wednesday, 3.3 percent were positive. It had been above 4 percent the previous two days.A lower positivity rate indicates more control over community spread of the virus. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s goal is to keep the statewide rate at or below 3 percent.

Michigan currently has the 34th highest positive test rate and the 43rd highest rate of new daily cases, putting the state among the best in terms of controlling the spread of the coronavirus, according to a Bridge Michigan analysis of national coronavirus data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

— Mike Wilkinson and Robin Erb

 


Tuesday, Feb. 23

Cases jump to 1,358 after steady declines

Michigan reported 1,358 new confirmed coronavirus cases Tuesday, the most since Feb. 4.

The number of daily cases had been steadily falling, with the total being below 1,000 on 13 of the last 16 days. The cases Tuesday pushed the seven-day daily average up to 925 from 848.

The state also reported 34 COVID-19 deaths, 18 of which came after a review of medical records. All of the reported deaths, however, have occurred in February.

For the second day in a row, the percentage of coronavirus tests coming back positive exceeded 4 percent (4.1 percent). The percentage had been below 4 percent the 12 previous days.

COVID-19 hospitalizations rose for the first time since Jan. 20, up to 891 patients from 841 on Monday. — Mike Wilkinson


Monday, Feb. 22

Cases fall to average of 742 on Sunday and Monday

The state reported an average of 742 new coronavirus cases for Sunday and Monday, and just three COVID-19 deaths on Monday.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 581,403 confirmed coronavirus cases and 15,362 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

Hospitalizations fell slightly over the weekend, with 841 patients being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19, down from 860 on Friday.

Testing data showed a slight increase in the percent positive, with 4.1 percent of nearly 46,900 tests over two days coming back positive. The state’s seven-day rate had fallen to 3.4 percent. A lower positive rate gives public health officials a better ability to identify outbreaks. — Mike Wilkinson


Saturday, Feb. 20 

Michigan reports 635 new cases,  63 deaths

Michigan public health officials reported 635 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Saturday, pushing the seven-day average to 816, the lowest since Sept. 28 when it was 761.

The state also reported 63 COVID-19 deaths, 57 of which came after a review of medical records. One of the deaths was in December, 10 were in January and the rest were in February.

Since the pandemic began in March 2020, Michigan has reported 579,919 confirmed coronavirus cases and 15,359 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. There are another 56,350 probable coronavirus cases and 983 probable COVID-19 deaths.

Out of the nearly 38,000 coronavirus tests reported Saturday, 3.1 percent came back positive. For the past week, it’s been 3.3 percent. A lower positivity rate indicates more control over community spread of the virus. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s goal is to keep the statewide rate at or below 3 percent.

The latest vaccine data shows that nearly 1.2 million people in Michigan have gotten at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine and of those, nearly 600,000 have gotten both.

Michigan is currently ranked 31st in the rate of distributing at least one dose but 12th in rate of administering both doses.

Hospitalization data is not released on Saturdays. — Mike Wilkinson


Friday, Feb. 19

1,193 new cases reported Friday

The steady decline in coronavirus infections has slowed amid other positive signs in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michigan public health officials reported 1,193 new confirmed cases on Friday, the same as a week ago. The seven-day average remained unchanged at 847 cases per day.

Case counts have fallen by 20 percent to nearly 30 percent or more each week since mid-January; they fell 12 percent this week.

But those smaller declines mask a far bigger drop: Daily cases were 6,500 on Dec. 1, 2,700 on Jan. 1 and 1,400 on Feb. 1. Hospitalizations have also declined, from 4,300 on Dec. 1, 2,700 on Jan. 4  and 1,400 on Feb. 1. 

Friday, 860 patients were hospitalized statewide with the virus.

Since the pandemic began, the state has reported 579,284 confirmed cases and 15,273 confirmed deaths. There have been another 56,162 probable cases and 978 probable COVID-19 deaths.

Testing data shows that 3 percent of 35,500 tests reported Friday came back positive and it’s been 3.4 percent for the past week. A lower positivity rate indicates more control over community spread of the virus. The Whitmer administration’s goal is to keep the statewide rate at or below 3 percent. — Mike Wilkinson


Thursday, Feb. 18

Michigan reports 888 cases

Michigan reported 888 new coronavirus infections Thursday and 85 deaths, of which 72 were previous deaths now determined to be linked to COVID-19.

The state has now reported 578,203 confirmed cases and 15,273 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

Though most of the newly reported deaths came after a review of medical records, all occurred in February. So far there have been 442 reported COVID-19 deaths in Michigan in February.

In a sign that the deadly virus is under more control, for the first time in at least three months no county has a positive test rate over 10 percent. Of the 32,500 coronavirus tests reported Thursday, 2.9 percent came back as positive. A lower positivity rate indicates more control over community spread of the virus. 

Hospitalization numbers also fell Thursday, with fewer than 900 confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients hospitalized across the state. That’s the first time that’s happened since Oct. 7. There are now 877 COVID-19 patients. There were just over 1,400 on Feb. 1. — Mike Wilkinson


Wednesday, Feb. 17

11 percent of residents have at least one vaccine dose 

Over 11 percent of all Michigan residents have one dose of the coronavirus vaccine and 5.2 percent have both doses, the latest state public health records show.

Despite the strides, however, the state is now 33rd in the rate at which residents are getting the first dose, down from 20th just over a week ago as other states ramp up their vaccinations programs.

Michigan, however, has the 13th highest rate at getting people vaccinated with both doses.

The state also reported that 959 new coronavirus cases were confirmed Wednesday, along with 11 COVID-19 deaths. The state is now averaging 11 confirmed and probable coronavirus cases a day per 100,000 people, the fourth lowest rate in the country, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since the pandemic began, Michigan has reported 577,223 confirmed coronavirus cases and 15,188 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

Michigan also reported that 3.8 percent of coronavirus tests recorded Wednesday came back positive.  State health officials have targeted a 3 percent positive rate as the goal in order to consider the coronavirus outbreak under control. — Mike Wilkinson


90 cases of variant recorded at Bellamy Creek prison

Even as Michigan gains ground in battling the coronavirus, a more contagious variant of the virus has gained a foothold. Testing detected 90 cases Tuesday among prisoners and staff at the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility, in Ionia, east of Grand Rapids.

The Michigan Department of Corrections stepped up testing last week after a prison employee tested positive for the variant. 

In all, 95 samples were tested by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Bureau of Laboratories, and 90 were positive for the variant. Testing positive were 88 prisoners and two employees. More than 100 lab results are pending.

The variant, known as B.1.1.7., has a higher rate of transmission and thus could increase cases, hospitalizations and deaths. In the past week, emerging research in the U.K. suggests the variant also may be more likely to cause severe disease or death than the initial form of COVID-19 that struck Michigan last March. Lab tests confirmed the first variant case in Michigan Jan. 16. A cluster of Washtenaw cases appear to be linked; but some other cases have no known connections to each other, an MDHHS spokesperson told Bridge Michigan last week.

In all, 157 cases of the variant have been detected in the state. Elsewhere, cases were found in Washtenaw County — 39; Wayne — 10; city of Detroit — 3, Clinton — 2; four each in Calhoun and Kalamazoo, and one each in Charlevoix, Eaton, Kent, Macomb, Sanilac, St. Clair, and Van Buren.  — Robin Erb


Tuesday, Feb. 16

Michigan records 775 new COVID cases and 19 deaths

Michigan recorded 775 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, according to state public health officials, with 19 additional COVID-19-linked deaths.

The seven-day average of cases remained below 900, at 897 daily cases.

Since the pandemic began there have been 576,224 confirmed cases of the virus and 15,177 confirmed deaths.

Of nearly 16,600 coronavirus tests reported Tuesday, 3.5 percent came back positive and for the past week the average has been 3.4 percent. State health officials have targeted a 3 percent positive rate as the goal in order to consider the coronavirus outbreak under control.

Only two counties currently have a test-positivity rate over 10 percent: Hillsdale in southern Michigan (11 percent) and Gogebic in the western Upper Peninsula (13.1 percent). A majority of Michigan counties (66) are now under 5 percent positive, including the 10 most populous counties.

The number of people currently hospitalized for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 fell to 939, down from 957. A week ago it was 1,175 and two weeks ago it was 1,403.

—  Mike Wilkinson

Monday, Feb. 15

COVID cases continue to fall Monday

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,265 new coronavirus cases on Sunday and Monday, a daily average of 632, the lowest number of reported new infections since Sept. 22 (504 cases).

That lowered the seven-day Michigan average to 867 daily cases, the lowest since Sept. 30.

The state also reported eight COVID-19 deaths over the two days.

Since the pandemic began, the state has reported 575,224 confirmed coronavirus cases and 15,158 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. There have been another 54,919 probable coronavirus cases and 972 probable COVID-19 deaths.

The average daily cases rate is 25 percent lower than a week ago and it’s been falling anywhere from 10 to 30 percent each week since mid-January.

For the first time since Oct. 12, the number of patients hospitalized for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 fell below 1,000 Monday, with 957 patients. There were 941 on Oct. 12.

Over the past two days, 3.5 and 3.2 percent of people tested for the coronavirus came back positive, another good trend. State health officials have targeted a 3 percent positive rate as the goal in order to consider the coronavirus outbreak under control.

— Mike Wilkinson

Saturday, Feb. 13

Less than 900 new COVID cases Saturday, 88 new deaths 

Michigan public health officials reported 852 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Saturday and 88 COVID-19 deaths.

That brings the state’s total number of confirmed cases to 574,224 and deaths to 15,150.

The newly reported cases lowered the state’s seven-day average to 939 daily cases.

The deaths include 84 earlier deaths that are now determined to be COVID-19-related following a review of medical records. 

COVID deaths have fallen sharply in Michigan in the past two months.  

In December the state recorded 3,309 deaths, an average of 107 a day. That daily average fell to 58 in January and, through Friday, the rate is 24 deaths per day so far in February.

The percent of tests coming back positive held steady Saturday at 3.6 percent. Over the past seven days it has been 3.7 percent, with the state approaching its goal of getting it down to 3 percent, a level at which public health workers feel they can better identify and control the spread of infection. Two weeks ago, the seven-day rate was 5 percent.

— Mike Wilkinson

 


Friday, Feb. 12

Michigan has second lowest coronavirus case rate in nation

Michigan reported nearly 1,200 new confirmed coronavirus infections Friday, giving the state the fewest cases in a week — just over 6,700 — since early October and the second lowest rate of new cases in the nation.

In the third week of November, the state recorded nearly 51,000 cases, but case levels have fallen steadily since. Including confirmed and probable cases, Michigan is now averaging 12 daily cases for every 100,000 people.

Only North Dakota, at 7 cases per 100,000, is lower, according to a Bridge Michigan analysis of data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The national rate is 29 new daily cases per 100,000 people.

Michigan also reported 10 additional COVID-19 deaths Thursday, moving the total since the pandemic began to 15,062.

Over the past seven days, 3.7 percent of all coronavirus tests came back positive. The state has set a goal of getting the test positivity rate down to 3 percent, a level at which public health experts believe the spread of the coronavirus can be controlled with testing, contact tracing and quarantines. The rate was 4.3 percent the previous week.

Hospitalizations fell again as well, with 1,024 patients Thursday being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19. That’s a drop of 272 patients in a week. At the beginning of the year there were 2,700 COVID-19 patients in Michigan hospitals.

Mike Wilkinson

 


Thursday, Feb. 11 

Michigan passes 15,000 COVID deaths 

Michigan reported another 75 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, bringing the state’s death toll to 15,052, the eighth-most in the nation.

Michigan also reported 1,284 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, lowering the seven-day average to 990 daily cases.

And for the first time since Sept. 25, the percent of positive coronavirus tests coming fell below 3 percent, with 2.8 percent of 47,753 tests reported positive. The state’s goal is 3 percent.

The state also was expected Thursday to vaccinate its 1 millionth resident with at least the first dose. As of Wednesday, 994,000 had gotten one dose and nearly 400,000 have had both doses.

Compared to other states, Michigan ranks 27th in the rate of first doses and 12th in both doses. — Mike Wilkinson


Wednesday, Feb. 11

COVID variant spreads to 10 counties

A coronavirus variant — believed to spread at 1.5 times faster than the virus that already has been linked to nearly 15,000 Michigan deaths — has seeped into 10 counties scattered across the state’s lower peninsula, the city of Detroit, and a Michigan prison.

The first known case of the variant entering the state’s prison system has been found at Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility in Ionia County east of Grand Rapids, prompting now-daily antigen tests of prisoners and staff. Until now, tests were weekly.

Some prisoners and staff at the Duane Waters Health Center in Jackson and Macomb Correctional Facility in Lenox Twp. also will be tested daily because several Bellamy Creek prisoners who tested positive for COVID-19 were transferred to those sites. 

While the variant known as B.1.1.7. is not believed to cause more severe disease, its higher rate of transmission could increase cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Lab tests confirmed the first case in Michigan Jan. 16. While the Washtenaw cases appear to be linked; there are no known connections to the other cases in the state, Lynn Sutfin, spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said Wednesday.

In all, 61 cases of the variant have been detected in 10 counties and the city of Detroit. The breakdown: Washtenaw County - 39 cases; Wayne County - 6; Kalamazoo and Calhoun counties - 4 each;  Detroit - 2; and one each in Charlevoix, Eaton, Kent, Macomb, Sanilac and Van Buren counties.

Coronavirus case count under 1,000 for fourth straight day

The number of new coronavirus infections continues to fall, with Michigan reporting 915 confirmed cases on Wednesday, the fourth straight day under 1,000.

The count also put the seven-day average at exactly 1,000 daily cases, a level not seen since early October.

The state also reported 12 additional COVID-19 deaths, putting the total at 14,977 since the pandemic began.

Driving the decline in cases and deaths are fewer positive coronavirus tests, with just 3.3 percent of over 34,300 tests reported Wednesday coming back positive, the lowest level since Oct. 7. State health officials have targeted a 3 percent positive rate as the goal in order to consider the coronavirus outbreak under control. 

Counties across the state are reporting fewer cases with most now at levels not seen since September. For instance, on Nov. 30, Kent County was averaging 526 new cases a day; it’s now averaging 78. In Oakland County, the Nov. 30 average was 758 cases; it’s now 96.

And back in November, all of those counties were seeing positivity rates over 10 percent: 13.3 percent in Oakland, 14.4 percent in suburban Wayne, 14.5 percent in Kent and 18.5 percent in Macomb. As of Wednesday, none is over 5 percent: Macomb is at 4.5 percent, Oakland at 3.5 percent, suburban Wayne at 4.8 percent and Kent at 4.2 percent.

— Mike Wilkinson


Tuesday, Feb. 9

New coronavirus cases fall to lowest since early September

Michigan public health officials reported just 563 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the lowest since 544 were reported Sept. 14.

That pushes the seven-day average to just over 1,000 cases and the state’s rate of cases per 100,000 is the third lowest in the nation, according to a Bridge Michigan analysis of daily case data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The state also reported 60 new COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, 31 which came after a review of medical records. Of the 60, one occured in December, 10 in January and the rest in February.

Since the pandemic began the state has reported 569,980 confirmed cases and 14,965 deaths.

Out of 17,000 tests, 4.1 percent came back positive. Compared nationally, Michigan has the 39th lowest rate, another positive sign.

Hospitalizations continue to decline with 1,175 confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients statewide. The state now ranks 35th nationally with an estimated 123 COVID-19 patients per 100,000, well below neighboring states of Ohio (188 per 100,000) and Indiana (190).

— Mike Wilkinson


For the first time since early October, Michigan public health officials reported fewer than 1,000 new coronavirus cases on consecutive days, with an average of 884 cases for Sunday and Monday.

The last time it was lower was Oct. 4 and 5, when the two days averaged 704.

The state also reported 11 new COVID-19 deaths for Sunday and Monday.

Over the weekend, out of over 51,600 tests, 4.5 percent came back positive, continuing a trend under 5 percent. State health officials have targeted a 3 percent positive rate as the goal in order to consider the coronavirus outbreak to be under control.

There are now 1,211 people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Michigan, nearly 200 fewer than a week ago. On Jan. 8, the virus hospitalized nearly 2,500. — Mike Wilkinson


Saturday, Feb. 6

Virus cases fall close to 1,000

Michigan public health officials reported 1,018 new confirmed infections of the coronavirus virus Saturday, the lowest daily count since 905 were reported Oct. 12.

The decline in cases has pushed the seven-day daily average to 1,201 cases. A month ago, on Jan. 6, the seven-day average was 2,942.

Compared to other states, only Missouri, Oregon and North Dakota have a lower seven-day rate per 100,000 people.

The state on Saturday also reported 15 recent deaths and another 82 that were determined to be caused by COVID-19 after a review of medical records. One of those deaths occurred in November but the others occurred in January and February.

Of more than 36,100 coronavirus tests reported Saturday, 4.1 percent came back positive. State health officials have targeted a 3 percent positive rate as the goal in order to consider the coronavirus outbreak to be under control. 

Thirty-seven states have a higher test positivity rate.

— Mike Wilkinson

Friday, Feb. 5

Coronavirus variant now in three southeast Michigan counties

The coronavirus variant, B.1.1.7. — known for its ability to spread rapidly — has now been detected in 30 southeast Michigan cases across three counties, even as the state races toward its goal of inoculating 70 percent of Michiganders 16 and older. 

The precise level of the vaccines’ effectiveness against the variant is not certain, though the two vaccines approved to date in the U.S. appear to offer protection. The variant is one of several that concern health officials for their ability to spread rapidly — by some estimates at 1.5 times faster than the new coronavirus that first was detected in China in late 2019.

In all, 23 cases of the variant have been detected in Washtenaw County — all linked to the University of Michigan campus; six were found in Wayne County and one in Kalamazoo County, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Washtenaw County is offering drive-thru testing Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. at Pioneer High School, 601 W. Stadium Blvd, in Ann Arbor. Positive results from this testing will be sequenced for the B117 variant. Pre-registration is available but not required.  — Robin Erb

COVID hospitalizations continue to fall in Michigan

The number of patients treated in Michigan hospitals for COVID-19 fell below 1,300 for the first time since late October, according to data released by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

There are 1,296 patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 on Friday, less than a third of what it was at its peak of 4,300 amid a surge in the virus in late November and part of a steady decline since then.

Hospitalizations are one of three key metrics the Whitmer administration said it has used to determine whether to lift economic, school and travel restrictions in the state. The others have been new daily cases of coronavirus and the positive test rate.

Those, too, have continued to improve: The state reported 1,379 new cases Friday, putting the seven-day average at 1,250, the lowest average since it was 1,174 on Oct. 14.

And of nearly 47,000 coronavirus tests reported Friday, 3.8 percent were positive. For the past week, 4.3 percent of tests were positive; two weeks ago the seven-day rate was 6.5 percent. Higher positive rates suggest there is more community spread of the virus. 

Just one county, Gogebic, has a rate over 10 percent (10.2 percent). In mid-January, 27 counties were above 10 percent.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 566,630 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 14,797 deaths, including 19 reported Friday. There have been another 52,869 probable cases and 952 probable deaths.

— Mike Wilkinson

 

Thursday, Feb. 4

Positive rate down to 3.4 percent; 1,358 new infections

 

Michigan on Thursday reported 1,358 new coronavirus infections, pushing the seven-day average down, again, to 1,306.

The state reported another 74 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, 48 more recorded in January and 26 in February, following  tens of thousands of infections in November and December led to severe illnesses and death.

But the state also reported Thursday that of nearly 49,600 tests, just 3.4 percent came back positive, the second straight day under 4 percent.

The state has wanted to get to 3 percent, a rate at which health experts believe they can safely identify and control coronavirus outbreaks.

The state also reported that over 842,000 people have gotten the first dose of the vaccine, with nearly 234,000 of those having gotten both doses. The state now ranks 20th nationally in vaccination rate, according to a Bridge Michigan analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. — Mike Wilkinson


Wednesday, Feb. 3

Positive cases fall under 4 percent

For the first time since early October, fewer than 4 percent of the coronavirus tests reported Wednesday were positive, another sign of the state’s recovery from the deadly second wave.

Of more than 39,700 tests, 3.9 percent were positive, the lowest rate since Oct. 8. Over the past week, 4.5 percent of tests have come back positive, and Michigan has had one of the lowest positive test rates in the country.

State officials have targeted 3 percent as the goal; the lower the rate, the better able public health officials are at identifying and controlling the spread of the virus.

The state also reported 1,383 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 32 deaths.

With the newly reported deaths, 34 were in February and 1,655 in January. The second wave of the coronavirus was more deadly than the first, when just over 5,600 died in March, April and May. From October through January, nearly 7,900 have died of COVID-19 in Michigan. 

The number of people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 fell below 1,400, to 1,376. It hit a high of 4,326 on Nov. 30 and has fallen steadily since. — Mike Wilkinson

 

Tuesday, Feb. 2

Michigan reports 1,203 new cases and 63 new deaths

The state reported 1,203 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Tuesday, along with 63 COVID-19 deaths.

Of the deaths, one occurred in December, 52 in January and 12 in February and 36 of were determined to be caused by COVID-19 after a review of medical records.

Since the pandemic began, the state has had 562,510 confirmed coronavirus cases and 14,672 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

The seven-day average rate of daily new cases stands at 1,422. Compared to all states, Michigan’s rate of daily new cases — confirmed and probable — is 19 per 100,000 people. Only five states, Colorado, South Dakota, Minnesota, North Dakota and Oregon, have lower rates, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Statewide, 1,403 people are currently hospitalized for confirmed or suspected COVID-19, down six from Monday.

After a string of days with less than 5 percent of all coronavirus tests coming back positive, 5.7 percent of tests reported Tuesday came back positive and 6.1 percent of tests reported Monday. For the past seven days, however, the overall rate is 4.7 percent.

Only six counties are above 10 percent. All are in northern Michigan or the Upper Peninsula. Detroit and the state’s largest counties — Oakland, Macomb, suburban Wayne and Kent — are all between 4 and 6 percent. — Mike Wilkinson


Monday, Feb. 1

Michigan passes 1 million vaccines

Michigan has now administered more than 1 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine, the state reported Monday.

Just over 800,000 people have received at least the first dose, while 200,182 have received both doses.

Many of those who have been vaccinated have been health care workers and over 50,000 residents and staff at skilled nursing facilities. Another 54,000 people in other senior care facilities, like assisted living, have received at least one dose of the vaccines.

COVID-19 is blamed for the death of 4,007 nursing home residents and another 1,400 residents of adult foster care and homes for the aged. Combined that’s about 37 percent of all 14,609 COVID-19 deaths in Michigan.

The state also was notified that another 255,000 doses were shipped to the state, bringing the total to 1.73 million to date.

Since a slow rollout, Michigan has seen its rate of vaccinations climb compared to other states. It now ranks 17th in the rate per 100,000 at which it is administering the first dose, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was 45th in early January. — Mike Wilkinson 

Eight deaths reported, as new cases continue to decline

Michigan reported eight COVID-19 deaths over the past two days as the number of patients hospitalized for the disease fell again.

There are now 1,409 patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, down nearly 260 from the week before and at levels not seen since mid-October.

That’s the result of a steep decline in new infections, as the state reported 2,033 confirmed cases for Sunday and Monday, or 1,033 each day. The seven-day average fell to 1,461 daily cases and Michigan continues to have one of the lowest rates in the country.

Although 6.1 percent of tests reported Monday were positive, the seven-day average was 4.9 percent. The seven-day rate last hit 4.9 percent on Oct. 20.

Michigan restaurants were able to reopen Monday in part because of the progress the state has seen in combating the coronavirus. Most parts of the state are seeing case rates fall and 40 counties are experiencing positive test rates at 5 percent or lower. — Mike Wilkinson


Saturday, Jan. 30

Michigan reports 1,538 new cases, lowest since mid-October

Michigan reported 1,358 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, the lowest since 1,237 cases were reported  Oct. 13.

New cases have declined for several weeks, though the death toll continues: The state reported 104 COVID-19 deaths on Saturday, which include 93 deaths determined after a review of medical records.

Thirteen of the 104 deaths reported Saturday were in December and one was in November. The rest were in January, which has 1,583 deaths so far, the fourth-most after April (3,743), December (3,306) and November (2,272).

Since the pandemic began, Michigan has 14,601 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. There have been 559,241 reported coronavirus cases, just over 5.5 percent of the state’s population.

The state also reported that 4.4 percent of more than 41,400 tests reported Saturday were positive. Over the last week, 5.2 percent were positive, down from 6.2 the previous week.

Experts say lower positive test rates indicate less community spread of the virus. In November, the rate hit a high of 16 percent of all tests as the state approached nearly 10,000 daily cases and hospitals filled with COVID-19 patients.

Almost every part of the state is experiencing declines in new cases as the positive rate comes down.

 But Washtenaw County, where the University of Michigan increased student testing after the discovery of the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant, has had an increase in cases.

The county’s rate of new daily cases per 100,000 rose to 28, up from 18 the week before. Despite the increase just 3.7 percent of all tests have come back positive. — Mike Wilkinson


Friday, Jan. 29

Cases jump in Washtenaw County

Five University of Michigan off-campus group housing units are experiencing outbreaks of the coronavirus, the university reported Friday, as Washtenaw County is reporting an increase in daily cases.

The university said residents in those units are now in quarantine, a move that comes after the university reported that the more contagious B.1.1.7 variant of the coronavirus had been detected in at least 14 students.

The university is conducting hundreds of additional tests of students as they have returned to campus, with testing in Washtenaw County overall jumping nearly 50 percent in the last week.

That’s led to the discovery of hundreds of more cases as the overall positive testing rate for the virus — 4.1 percent this week — is up slightly from 3.1 percent the week before. The new case rate in Washtenaw, 27 daily cases per 100,000, is up from 17 daily cases per 100,000 the week before.

The increase in Washtenaw stands in contrast to almost every other county in Michigan where case rates continue to fall. Statewide, 1,774 new coronavirus infections were reported Friday.

The state also reported six additional COVID-19 deaths, the second time in a week that there are fewer than 10 reported in a day. From late November through Dec. 25, the state averaged nearly 110 deaths a day; it’s averaged 53 COVID-19 deaths since then.

Since the pandemic began last March, there have been 557,883 confirmed cases and 14,497 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

In addition to declining case averages, just 4.2 percent of the more than 52,000 tests reported in Michigan Friday came back positive, the lowest rate since Oct. 10. Experts say lower positive test rates indicate less community spread of the virus.  — Mike Wilkinson


Thursday, Jan. 28

Michigan reports 1,872 cases, 80 deaths, 695,000 total vaccinations

Over 695,000 people have received at least the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of Thursday.

Of those, 158,000 have had both of the required two doses. That places the state 18th in the rate of administering both doses and 21st in first doses, according to the latest state data.

The state also reported another 1,872 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus  and 80 deaths, including 67 that followed a review of medical records. Most of those deaths were in January.

The percent of coronavirus tests reported Thursday that came back positive fell to 4.5 percent, out of 47,800 tests. The last time it was lower was Oct. 10, when it was 4.2 percent.

The number of patients being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 fell again, to 1,536, half the number that was hospitalized just five weeks ago. — Mike Wilkinson


Wednesday, Jan. 27

Daily deaths fall below 10

For the first time since mid-October, Michigan health officials reported fewer than 10 COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday.

There were six new deaths, all from the last week. The state reported four deaths on Oct. 12 but since then the state has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases —  and over 7,000 COVID-19 deaths.

The more recent decline in deaths is an outgrowth of fewer cases, which have been slowly falling for several weeks. On Wednesday, the state reported 1,681 new coronavirus infections, putting the seven-day average at 1,727 daily cases per 100,000 people. Only a few states in the country have a lower rate.

For the third time in a week, the test positivity rate fell below 5 percent, with 4.9 percent of 48,000 tests reported Wednesday coming back positive.

Only seven counties in the state have seven-day averages above 10 percent and 16 counties have rates at 3 percent or lower, including Washtenaw County in metro Detroit.

The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients also fell again, to 1,594 confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, the lowest number since mid-October. — Mike Wilkinson


Tuesday, Jan. 26

Michigan vaccination rate improves as cases continue to fall

Michigan is vaccinating state residents at a far faster rate than previously, with more than 600,000 residents having received at least one dose.

That places the state 21st in the rate of first-dose vaccinations per 100,000 residents, a marked improvement from 45th in the first weeks of the vaccination program. The state ranks 20th for those who have gotten both required doses of the vaccine.

The good vaccine news comes as new coronavirus infections continue to decline, with 1,476 cases reported Tuesday. That puts the seven-day daily average at 1,777, the lowest rate since mid-October.

But the state reported another 79 COVID-19 deaths Tuesday, all from January except one from December. Since the pandemic began, 14,405 have died of confirmed COVID-19.

Testing data showed 7.1 percent of more than 26,000 tests reported Tuesday came back positive. Over the past week, the average has been 6.2 percent and Michigan has the 40th lowest rate in the country as of Sunday data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hospitalizations fell again as well, with 1,638 patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 currently being treated in hospitals across the state. At the beginning of the year, there were 2,700 being treated statewide. — Mike Wilkinson


Monday, Jan. 25

Michigan’s continued trend of falling coronavirus cases and deaths continued Monday with the state reporting 3,011 new cases and 35 deaths since Saturday.

That averages to a little more than 1,500 cases and 17 deaths for the previous two days.

Case counts, as well as hospitalizations and positive tests, continue to fall in much of Michigan. The state reported just under 1,700 COVID-19 hospital patients, the fewest since Oct. 29.

And the state reported 5.9 percent of coronavirus tests returned positive, with the state averaging 6.2 percent over the past week.

Compared to other states, Michigan now has one of the lowest case rates per 100,000 people in the country, with only two states — North Dakota and Oregon — having lower rates.

In terms of hospitalizations per 100,000 people, Michigan ranks 35th at 170 patients per 100,000 and it ranks 40th in terms of percent of tests coming back positive.

In each case, ranking lower is better. Arizona is No. 1 in hospitalizations with 589 patients per 100,000, triple Michigan’s rate, and Oklahoma has the highest percent positive, 18.2 percent, nearly three times higher than Michigan’s current rate. — Mike Wilkinson


Saturday, Jan. 23

High death toll shows pandemic remains deadly despite overall improvement

Although coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to decline in Michigan, the state reported more than 200 COVID-19 deaths for just the fifth time on Saturday.

The 221 deaths include 205 that followed a review of medical records; those deaths occurred mostly in early January. But 74 occurred in December and three each in October and November.

The state, which three times a week reports COVID-19 deaths that are determined after a review of medical records, has reported more deaths only on two other days: 232 on April 23 and 222 on Jan. 9.

Of the reported deaths, 30 occurred in Oakland County, 24 in Macomb County, 19 in suburban Wayne County and 15 in Genesee County.

The numbers are a reminder of how deadly COVID-19 remains despite weeks of declining infections, lower positive test rates and fewer COVID-19 hospital patients.

The arc of positive news continued Saturday with the state reporting 1,601 new coronavirus infections, pushing the seven-day average down to 1,791, the lowest rate since the third week of October.

The percent of positive tests reported Saturday was 5.9 percent, as is the seven-day average.

Since the pandemic began, 548,069 people have had confirmed coronavirus infections and 14,291 have died from confirmed COVID-19. — Mike Wilkinson


Friday, Jan. 22

More than a half-million Michiganders have first vaccine dose

The rollout of the coronavirus vaccine in Michigan has improved markedly, with 536,000 having gotten at least the first of two doses.

That has improved Michigan’s standing nationally to 25th, up from 45th just two weeks ago in terms of vaccines administered per 100,000 residents. The state ranks 22nd in the rate of people who have gotten both doses; 105,882 people have gotten both as of Friday.

It’s more welcome news as the state continues to see average case rates, hospitalizations and deaths decline. And the percent of coronavirus tests coming back positive stayed below 6 percent, with 5.1 percent of tests reported Friday returning positive. Over the last week, the overall rate has been 5.9 percent.

The state reported 2,157 new confirmed cases and 17 deaths. The cases pushed the seven-day rate down again; it remains among the lowest in the country.

Since the pandemic began, over 546,000 people have been infected and 14,070 have died from COVID-19.

Vaccinations in nursing homes and other senior citizen living facilities have increased, with just over 70,000 getting at least the first dose of the vaccine. The elderly make up a substantial portion of those who have died, with nursing home residents comprising 28 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the state— Mike Wilkinson


Thursday, Jan. 21

Cases, hospitalizations fall as state records 14,000th death

Michigan’s COVID cases and hospitalizations continue to fall, the state reported Thursday, but not enough to stop Michigan from passing another grim milestone.

The state recorded and passed its 14,000th death linked to COVID-19 on Thursday after the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services added 148 deaths, including 128 of them from a review of medical records of previous deaths. That brought the total count to 14,053 deaths linked to COVID-19.

But overall, case counts, case rates, testing and hospitalizations continued to fall as Michigan continued efforts to distribute COVID vaccines.

The health department reported 2,165 new cases Thursday, bringing the total up to 544,311 and settling the seven-day average to 1,901 cases a day — the lowest since late October. That case count was a stark contrast to daily case counts just before Thanksgiving, when Michigan was reporting an average of more than 7,000 new cases each day between Nov. 19 and 23.

Positive test results fell, too, to just 4.9 percent Thursday, in contrast to a high of 16 percent recorded Dec. 2. Positive test results have remained below 10 percent since Jan. 6.

And for the first time since Nov. 2, there were fewer than 2,000 patients (1,907) in Michigan’s hospitals with confirmed COVID-19. On Nov. 30, Michigan’s hospitals were caring for 4,326 patients with confirmed COVID. — Robin Erb


Wednesday, Jan. 20

Cases and hospitalizations decline; fewer positive tests

Much of Michigan is experiencing a decline in new coronavirus cases and fewer tests are coming back positive, welcome signs that show the deadly second wave of COVID-19 is receding.

The state reported 2,031 new confirmed cases and although that’s higher than the last five days, it still helped bring the seven-day average below 2,000 for the first time since Oct. 25.

On Dec. 1, a number of counties were hitting peak numbers and the state had the most patients yet being treated for COVID-19. Then, Macomb County was experiencing 78 new daily coronavirus cases per 100,000; it was 18 on Wednesday. Oakland was at 57 on Dec. 1; it’s now at 18 cases as well.

Similar trends are found across the state — in Muskegon County, 126 new cases were occurring daily on Nov. 16 per 100,000. Now it’s 12 cases. Bay County hit a rate of 114 daily cases per 100,000 on Nov. 16 and is at 22 cases now.

The percent of coronavirus tests coming back positive hit 6.5 percent Wednesday, the seventh time in eight days below 7 percent.

Just 13 counties have a rate over 10 percent in the past week; there were 27 counties at or above 10 percent a week earlier.

The state reported another 40 COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday and state epidemiologist Sarah Lyon-Callo said the state has seen its COVID-19 mortality rate fall for four consecutive weeks.

Since the pandemic began there have been 542,146 confirmed cases and 13,905 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.— Mike Wilkinson 


Tues., Jan 19

Cases remain flat as hospitalizations continue decline

Michigan public health authorities reported 1,738 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, bringing the seven-day average down to 2,072. It hasn’t been below 2,000 since Oct. 25.

Since the pandemic began in March, 540,113 confirmed infections have been reported and 13,865 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, including 41 reported Tuesday.

There are now 2,053 people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, down 87 from Monday and 157 from a week ago. A month ago there were over 3,200 COVID-19 patients in Michigan.

The latest testing results — with 7.5 percent positive — marked the first time the total exceeded 7 percent in eight days.

The state, with roughly 7 percent of all tests positive in the last week, has one of the best rates in the country, with only 11 other states having a lower percent positive.

Only four states — Minnesota, Oregon, Vermont and North Dakota — have a lower case rate (average new daily infections per 100,000) than Michigan’s 28 daily cases. The national rate is 64 new daily cases per 100,000, according to a Bridge Michigan analysis of federal records.

In terms of hospitalizations, the state ranked 35th as of Jan. 14, when federal data were most recently updated. — Mike Wilkinson


Monday, Jan. 18

Vaccine distribution picks up; cases hit three-month low

Michigan has now received 1.05 million total doses of the coronavirus vaccine, with the state reporting Monday that counties have had over 218,000 new doses shipped to them since Friday.

Overall, some 420,000 residents have had at least one of two doses, while 67,815 of those have had both doses.

In the first few weeks of vaccinations, Michigan was among the worst states in doses administered per 100,000 residents. Michigan now ranks 30th, though that does not include doses administered since Thursday.

Over 206,000 doses were administered last week, 58 percent more than the 130,000 the previous week.

Although the pace of vaccinations has increased in the past three weeks, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has said there are still unnecessary delays. She has joined with governors in  seven other states to petition the federal government to allow them to work directly with manufacturers to buy doses.

Public health officials have said they are running out of the vaccines, and Wayne County has said it had to reschedule appointments because it had run out.

On Monday, Wayne County announced it was switching from the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to the Moderna vaccine. Each is considered equally safe but, unlike Pfizer, the Moderna vaccine does not require the extreme low temperatures and extra handling. — Mike Wilkinson


Michigan hits three-month low in new cases

Michigan has one of the lowest rates of new coronavirus infections in the country and one of the lowest positive test rates, according to the latest data from the state.

The state reported an average of 1,421 new cases for Sunday and Monday, pushing the seven-day average to 2,108, or about 21 new daily cases per 100,000 people. The national rate is 66 new daily cases per 100,000. 

The new case rate in Michigan was last this low in late October.

Over the past seven days, just 6.5 percent of tests have come back positive, down from 8.6 percent the week before. Though 10 counties remain above 10 percent, the rest are below, including the most populous: Oakland (6.7 percent), Macomb (7.2), Kent (7.3) and suburban Wayne County (8.2 percent). Detroit is at 4.8 percent over the past week.

The state reported 20 additional COVID-19 deaths on Monday, or an average of 10 for Sunday and Monday. There have been 13,824 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. There have been 538,377 confirmed coronavirus cases.

Hospitalizations again fell from last week, whith 2,140 patients with confirmed or suspected coronavirus, down 82 from Friday. The state does not update hospital numbers over the weekend. — Mike Wilkinson

Saturday, Jan. 16

Washtenaw County woman first in state with COVID variant

Michigan health officials on Saturday announced the state’s first confirmed case of the coronavirus variant, which originated in the United Kingdom and is believed to be more contagious.

The state announced a Washtenaw County woman who recently traveled to the United Kingdom tested positive for the variant, known as B.1.1.7., and came into close contact with two individuals. All are under quarantine.

The confirmation comes as new coronavirus cases are declining in Michigan, but the same week that health officials warned that the United States has two distinct coronavirus variants and many more likely will be identified in coming weeks.

“The discovery of this variant in Michigan is concerning, but not unexpected,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive, said in a statement. 

“We all have a personal responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19 and end this pandemic as quickly as possible.”


New cases fall below 2,000 for first time since December

For the fourth straight day, Michigan health officials on Saturday reported that fewer than 7 percent coronavirus tests were positive, falling to 6.1 percent with Friday’s tests.

The percentage of positive tests has fallen steadily since hitting 10.5 percent on Jan. 4 and Jan. 5, a promising sign that widespread infections are subsiding.

The state also reported 1,932 new coronavirus infections, the first time under 2,000 since Dec. 27 and 28. That brings the seven-day average to 2,350 cases, the lowest in over two months. It was last lower on Oct. 27, at 2,126.

The total number of coronavirus infections now stands at 535,534. The 103 deaths reported Saturday — 93 from January and the rest in December — brings the total to 13,804.

Of the newly reported deaths, 16 were in Macomb County, 13 in Oakland County and 10 in suburban Wayne County.

Compared to other states, Michigan’s case rate is one of the lowest. It has averaged 30 new daily cases — confirmed and probable — over the past week, good for 47th in the country, according to a Bridge Michigan analysis of federal coronavirus data. — Mike Wilkinson


Whitmer joins other governors in asking for more vaccine doses

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and governors of Wisconsin and Minnesota on Friday asked the Trump administration to allow the three states to buy coronavirus vaccines directly from manufacturers.

Whitmer, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz made the request in a letter to U.S. Human Services Secretary Alex Azar as many states are set to run out of the vaccines before the next wave of shipments arrive.

The request from the Democrats comes as a promise earlier this week to release millions of doses held in reserve may not come to fruition because there is no reserve, according to the Washington Post.

Azar announced the plan to release the doses this week, but the Post reported the reserve had already been allocated and shipped in late December.

Michigan is 30th among states for administering an initial dose and 28th in getting both doses. Just under 350,000 statewide have received at least one dose and, of those, 57,000 have received the second.

Outside of weekends, the state is averaging about 32,000 vaccinations a day this week, up from 22,000 a day the week before.

Whitmer and the others said their states need more vaccines from the manufacturers.

“If you are unable or unwilling to give us that supply, we urge you to grant permission for us to directly purchase vaccines so we may distribute them to the people of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota as quickly as possible,” they said in their statement. — Mike Wilkinson


Friday, Jan. 15

Coronavirus case counts stable

Michigan’s daily coronavirus count remained stable again Friday, with 2,598 new confirmed cases reported as positive tests fell below 7 percent for the second straight day.

The new cases bring the seven-day average to 2,461, nearly equal to the recent low on Dec. 28 before a slight rise following Christmas. Since the pandemic began the state has reported 533,602 cases and now 13,701 deaths, including 29 reported Friday.

The promising trends include the lower case counts but also test positivity: 6.3 percent of the most recent tests came back positive, the second time under 7 percent in two days and fifth day in six they’ve been below 8 percent.

And no county in the state has a rate over 20 percent for the first time in many weeks; Hillsdale County has the highest seven-day rate at 18.8 percent. Rates are down in most counties, including the most populous: It’s at 5.6 percent in Detroit, 8.3 percent in Kent County, 8.7 percent in Macomb and 9.2 in suburban Wayne.

On Dec. 1, Macomb had hit 19 percent, Kent was at 14.5, Wayne was at 14.4 and Detroit was at 8.6 percent.

And for the first time since Nov. 4, the number of confirmed COVID-19 patients fell below 2,000 with 1,992 patients reported Friday.

The drop from a high of 3,900 COVID-19 patients on Dec. 1 has been steady but not as sharp as the increase that began once the coronavirus second wave hit. At the beginning of October there were fewer than 500 confirmed COVID-19 patients; it was 1,500 on Nov. 1 and then 3,900 a month later. — Mike Wilkinson


Thursday, Jan. 14

Counts, hospitalizations stable as positive tests decline

Evidence that any post-holiday bump in coronavirus cases is over is emerging from the state’s data.

The number of new cases reported Thursday — 2,698 — is almost identical to Wednesday and pushed the seven-day average down for the sixth straight day, now at 2,608.

Also, the percent of coronavirus tests coming back positive fell to 6.3 percent of 48,900 tests, with the seven-day average falling to 7.6 percent.

And the number of people hospitalized for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 inched lower, to 2,238 people.

All are positive signs after a brief rise in cases over 11 days beginning Dec. 28. But state officials are still cautiously optimistic.

“We are glad that we made it through the holidays without a big increase in numbers, but there have been some worrying signs in the new numbers,” said Lynn Sutfin, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 

The state has also improved its national standing in vaccine distribution, moving to 29th among all states, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The state had been among the worst just a week ago. Through Tuesday the state said over 332,000 people have gotten the first of two required vaccine doses, including over 52,000 residents and staff of long-term care facilities including nursing homes.

Long-term care facilities have accounted for 40 percent of all of the 13,672 deaths in Michigan, and similar percentages of COVID-19 deaths nationwide.

The state reported 139 new COVID-19 deaths yesterday, of which 126 occurred this month with the other 13 occurring in December. — Mike Wilkinson


Wednesday, Jan. 13

Positive test rate hits recent low

For the first time since October, the percent of coronavirus tests coming back positive fell below 7 percent, hitting 6.9 percent among nearly 39,000 tests, the state reported Wednesday.

The positive test rate, which hit a high of 16 percent on Dec. 2, has not been as low as 6.9 percent since Oct. 29, when it was 6.6 percent. The state has set a target of 3 percent.

That good news is coupled with another drop in the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19: as of Wednesday there were 2,246, the fewest since Nov. 4 where there were a reported 2,215 COVID-19 patients.

The state also reported 2,694 new coronavirus infections, for a total of 528,306, and 32 additional COVID-19 deaths. There have now been 13,533 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, including 583 in January.

The state has averaged 2,700 cases a day in the past week.

Only four states have a lower daily cases rate per 100,000 than Michigan does, according to federal data analyzed by Bridge Michigan. The state’s past week positive test rate, 8.9 percent, is higher than only 12 other states.—  Mike Wilkinson


Shirkey announces he had COVID-19 and recovered

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, a fierce critic of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s pandemic policies, tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 23 and has since recovered, a spokesperson announced Wednesday. 

It’s not immediately clear why the Clarklake Republican waited three weeks to publicly disclose the diagnosis. He reported his positive test result to the Senate Business Office “in accordance with Senate policy,” said Amber McCann. 

Shirkey “experienced a fever and was fatigued” but recovered during a home quarantine, she told reporters. 

The Senate GOP leader “believes” he was exposed on Dec. 19 and had not been in Lansing since Dec. 18, McCann said. She later issued a correction, acknowledging Shirkey was in Lansing on Dec. 21 and visited the state House for outgoing House Speaker Lee Chatfield’s farewell address.

Shirkey is the 14th Michigan lawmaker known to have contracted COVID-19 since March, when Rep. Isaac Robinson died from what was believed to be virus complications. State Rep. Abdullah Hammoud, D-Dearborn, disclosed a positive test result last week. Dozens of staffers also tested positive last year.

Michigan public health officials reported just under 2,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Tuesday, pushing down the seven-day average to almost 3,000 a day as the percent of positive tests hit 7.2 percent.

The state also reported 100 COVID-19 deaths, 96 from January and the others from December.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 525,612 confirmed cases and 13,501 deaths.

Across the state case counts have fallen, easing pressure on hospitals. Oakland County, for instance, was averaging more than 700 cases a day in late November; it’s now at 342 daily cases.

The state also reported that 7.2 percent of 34,700 tests came back positive, extending the decline in test positivity that health officials say is key to keeping low to minimize spread of the coronavirus.

There was a slight increase in the number of patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 in state hospitals, with 2,443 reported on Tuesday, up 47 from Monday. But that number is 315 lower than it was a week ago.— Mike Wilkinson


Tuesday, Jan. 12

New coronavirus cases, test positivity rates fall

Michigan public health officials reported just under 2,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Tuesday, pushing down the seven-day average to almost 3,000 a day as the percent of positive tests hit 7.2 percent.

The state also reported 100 COVID-19 deaths, 96 from January and the others from December.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 525, 612 confirmed cases and 13,501 deaths.

Across the state case counts have fallen, easing pressure on hospitals. Oakland County, for instance, was averaging more than 700 cases a day in late November; it’s now at 342 daily cases.

The state also reported that 7.2 percent of 34,700 tests came back positive, extending the decline in test positivity that health officials say is key to keeping low to minimize spread of the coronavirus.

There was a slight increase in the number of patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 in state hospitals, with 2,443 reported on Tuesday, up 47 from Monday. But that number is 315 lower than it was a week ago. — Mike Wilkinson


Monday, Jan. 11

Cases, test positivity remain stable as hospitalizations continue to fall

Amid worries about a possible post-holiday coronavirus surge, Michigan reported an average of 2,268 new confirmed cases for Sunday and Monday, keeping the overall seven-day average nearly unchanged.

With the new cases, which push the total to 523,618, the state is averaging 3,017 cases a day — almost identical to the rate over each of the past five days. 

While still well above what was seen as recently as Oct. 1, when the state was averaging 900 cases a day, it’s well below the 7,200 it was averaging just before Thanksgiving and just after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration ordered a “pause” in some business and social activities.

In other coronavirus news: 

  • The state also reported 47 additional deaths, bringing the total to 13,401.
  • Hospitalization fell below 2,400 statewide for the first time since Nov. 5.
  • The state reported that 232,000 people have been vaccinated, up from 195,000 last Friday. Nationally, however, the 2,227 people per 100,000 who have been vaccinated ranks the state 39th among all statesMike Wilkinson

Saturday, Jan. 9

Michigan records second deadliest COVID day Saturday

Michigan reported another 222 deaths from COVID-19 on Saturday, the second deadliest day of the pandemic. The state indicated that half of the new deaths occurred in January, with the rest from November and December.

The only day with a higher reported number of deaths was April 21, when 232 were reported.

The high toll comes as the number of new coronavirus cases in Michigan has stabilized — it was 2,706 on Saturday — after rising for about two weeks.

The 111 deaths recorded Saturday from December pushed that month’s death total to 3,302.

Overall, there have been 519,082 confirmed coronavirus cases and 13,354 COVID-19 deaths in Michigan during the pandemic. 

The worst stretch of death came between Nov. 21, when 111 COVID-19 deaths occurred, and Dec. 21, when another 113 happened. Over those 31 days, a total of 3,450 people died of COVID-19, an average of 111 each day.

The daily death toll has fallen in recent weeks, coinciding with fewer coronavirus infections and fewer COVID-19 patients in Michigan hospitals (the state does not report updated hospitalization data on Saturdays).

Another encouraging note: For the second straight day, the COVID-19 tests coming back positive stayed below 9 percent (8.3 percent). It had averaged nearly 10 percent from Dec. 31 through Jan. 5.  

The state does not update vaccine distribution data on Saturdays. As of Friday, 195,240 doses of approved vaccines had been administered across Michigan, with 10,215 going to nursing home residents and staff. The state had received 725,850 doses as of Friday. Like many states, Michigan has had some early stumbles in getting vaccines administered. — Mike Wilkinson


Friday, Jan. 8 

Case count averages rise Friday, but positive signs emerge

Despite a small rise in the average number of new coronavirus infections in Michigan, the state reported Friday fewer people in the hospital, fewer deaths and a lower positive test rate.

Overall, there were 3,625 new confirmed coronavirus cases, pushing the seven-day daily average up to 3,178, the highest since Dec. 23.

And the past week of higher case counts have pushed the rate up in many counties across the state, though far below the November and December highs they experienced.

But the number of hospitalizations fell, with just under 2,500 patients treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19, down from Thursday and down just over 200 from Monday’s total.

That is welcome news as is the percent positive rate: 8.7 percent from over 52,000 tests. The rate had bumped up over 10 percent in the past week after going as low as 7 percent (3 percent is the state’s target goal).

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has said that the coronavirus trends will be watched as her administration looks at restrictions set to expire Jan. 15. Hospitalizations, case counts and positive test rates are all big factors, she has said.

The state reported Friday that it vaccinated over 26,000 people on Thursday, by far the most vaccinated in one day, and nearly 11,000 more than on its previous high the day before.

The state also reported 38 new COVID-19 deaths, bringing the January total to 302 and the overall total to 13,132. — Mike Wilkinson


Thursday, Jan. 7

Holiday gatherings may have spurred uptick in cases

With Michigan reporting another 4,000 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, it’s looking more likely that holiday gatherings have spurred another uptick in cases.

The new infections push the seven-day daily average to nearly 3,100, the highest since Dec. 23.

After the second wave of cases peaked on Nov. 21, with a daily average of over 7,200 cases, it steadily fell, hitting a low of 2,400 on Dec. 28. It has slowly risen since and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and others in her administration said they were looking at case trends to see if the holidays would have an impact. Whitmer said Wednesday that data on travel indicated people had been moving around more.

The governor has said that trends on cases, hospitalizations and positive test rates will have an impact on whether restrictions, like those on restaurants and bars, will be lifted before the current Jan. 15 expiration date or possibly extended.

Although case rates are up, they are half — or even lower — of what they were in December and November when the state, like much of the country was hit the hardest.

That pushed hospitalization rates to their highest since the pandemic began but they have steadily gone down, as they did again Thursday, with just under 2,600 patients statewide being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

But the percent of coronavirus tests coming back positive is also up. Over the past week, nearly 10 percent of tests (9.7) have been positive, compared to 8.5 percent of tests in the week prior.

The state also reported 176 COVID-19 deaths Thursday. Of those, 106 have occurred in January, 68 in December, 1 in November and one back in May (the state routinely reviews earlier deaths to see if medical records indicate it could be a COVID-19 death).

Oakland County (31) had the most reported deaths, followed by suburban Wayne County (20) and Macomb County (14).

The state reported it vaccinated the most people yet in a single day on Wednesday — 24,836, pushing the overall total to 174,749 people. The state also reported it had received another 60,000 doses, bringing the total to 725,850.

Whitmer announced Wednesday that all people 65 or older, along with some frontline workers like teachers and law enforcement, would be eligible to receive the vaccine as early as Jan. 11.— Mike Wilkinson


Wednesday, Jan. 6

Infections cross 4,000 for first time in year

Michigan health officials reported 4,326 new infections, the highest number this year — and the highest in three weeks.

The case counts are indicating the end of the steady decline that had started in early December and lasted through the holidays.

For a couple of weeks that data has been volatile — going up and down in big swings, with  Wednesday’s data leaning toward rising cases and higher positive tests. After falling as low as 7 percent two weeks ago, over 10 percent of all new coronavirus tests are now coming back positive.

In terms of cases, after a couple of weeks of steady declines in both daily counts and rates per 100,000 residents, many counties are seeing those number rise — though still far below the case counts of mid-November and early December.

Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Kent counties are all experiencing slight increases, as are many other counties. Suburban Wayne County reported 598 new cases Wednesday, it’s highest number in weeks and the most in the state, followed by Oakland (505), Macomb (405) and Kent (348 cases). — Mike Wilkinson


Tuesday, Jan. 5

Case counts fall but December deaths top 3,000; more vaccines arrive

Michigan reported 2,119 new confirmed coronavirus infections on Tuesday, halting several days of increases in the seven-day average of cases.

Since Dec. 29, the average number of cases had risen but declined with Tuesday’s case count to 2,927.

Infections are down across the state and are a fraction of what they were just six weeks ago. On Nov. 21, eight counties were averaging 100 new infections daily for every 100,000 people and another six were between 90 and 100 new daily cases.

On Tuesday, no county had a rate over 60 new daily cases and 53 of the state’s 83 counties had a rate lower than 30 daily cases per 100,000, including most of the more populous counties. Kent County, the state’s fourth largest by population, was at 35 new daily cases per 100,000 — it was 99 on Nov. 21.

But the state reported another 189 COVID-19 deaths, with most of those occurring in December, pushing to 3,017 the total deaths last month, the second most deadly — behind April — since the pandemic began. There have been 117 COVID-19 deaths so far in 2021.

The latest testing data showed that just over 10 percent of tests returned  positive and hospitalizations, which had been steadily falling for several weeks, rose slightly, with 2,758 patients being treated for confirmed or suspected COVID-19, up from 2,698 on Monday. — Mike Wilkinson


Michigan gets 140,000 more vaccine doses

Michigan health officials on Tuesday reported the shipment of another 140,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine, though they arrive as the state has struggled to administer the first 380,000 already sent to the state.

So far Michigan has now received 520,150 doses of the vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, with the Pfizer vaccine making up over 411,000 doses of the total.

With the latest data, however, the state reported 140,245 doses had been administered and a Bridge Michigan report showed the state has one of the lowest rates of vaccine administration.

However, the state’s data  — shared daily with the federal government — may be substantially undercounting vaccinations. Linda Vail, health officer for Ingham County, said hospitals in the county, along with the health department, have vaccinated over 7,000 people. But the state’s latest data indicate just 2,600 vaccinations have occurred in the county.

Health officials told Bridge that a number of health care workers have been reluctant to get the vaccine, with thousands declining the opportunity. — Mike Wilkinson


Monday, Jan. 4

Michigan crosses 500,000 mark in cases

More than 500,000 Michigan residents have now been infected with the coronavirus, with the state reporting nearly 5,000 new cases on Monday.

Those cases, 4,992 over two days, or 2,496 a day, put the total since March at 502,119.

The case counts pushed the seven-day daily average up to 3,087; they had fallen below 2,500 on Dec. 28 but are still well below the November high of nearly 7,300 daily cases. The rate per 100,000 residents — 31 new daily cases — is also far below neighboring states and the national average of 67 daily cases per 100,000.

The state reported 80 additional COVID-19 deaths. So far in January, there have been 58 COVID-19 deaths with the others reported Monday occurring in December, which now has had 2,888 deaths.

Testing data showed a 7.8 percent positive rate for the most recent day, following three days where the rate had averaged over 10 percent. The state’s goal is 3 percent; it reached as high as 16 percent, on Dec. 2.

The number of COVID-19 patients in Michigan hospitals continued to fall, though slightly. There were 2,698 confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients as of Monday, down from 2,758 reported on Dec. 30. — Mike Wilkinson


Saturday, Jan. 2

Over 200 COVID-19 deaths reported as case counts rise

Michigan recorded 265 COVID-related deaths Saturday covering a three-day period. The state emerged from a deadly December, when it averaged 92 deaths a day linked to the virus, for a total of 2,857, making it the second deadliest month of the pandemic. Only April was higher.    

December’s toll will likely rise even higher as more death certificates are finalized and reported.

Suburban Wayne County, excluding Detroit, had 36 of the newly reported deaths, Macomb County had 30 and Oakland County had 21. Genesee has 13 and St. Clair 12.

The new report, which covered Dec. 31, Jan. 1 and Saturday, also showed 8,983 new coronavirus infections, or roughly 2,994 for each of the three days. That puts the state’s seven-day average of cases at 2,837. That daily average has risen daily since Dec. 28 when it stood at 2,444.

The increase has pushed up infection totals in several counties around the state including Oakland (from a seven-day average of 248 cases a week ago to 288 cases in the current week) and Kent (from 174 to 227).

But other areas continued to see infection averages fall, including Detroit (119 to 104 daily cases), Macomb County (206 to 197) and suburban Wayne County (306 daily cases to 253).

The state does not report vaccine and hospital data on weekends and testing data typically available was not released today. — Mike Wilkinson

We're not just a news organization, we're also your neighbors

We’ve been there for you with daily Michigan COVID-19 news; reporting on the emergence of the virus, daily numbers with our tracker and dashboard, exploding unemployment, and we finally were able to report on mass vaccine distribution. We report because the news impacts all of us. Will you please donate and help us reach our goal of 15,000 members in 2021?

Pay with VISA Pay with MasterCard Pay with American Express Pay with PayPal Donate Now