Michigan reports about 1,300 coronavirus cases, 56 deaths

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan has reported 1,289 more cases of coronavirus and 56 more related deaths.

Forty-eight of the deaths were discovered during a routine check of death certificates to find any that had not already been reported to the state.

The Saturday data update brings the total number of confirmed cases in Michigan to 596,054 since the virus was first detected here nearly one year ago and the total number of associated deaths to 15,666.

The state now lists 549,881 COVID-19 patients as recovered, which is defined as patients who are still alive 30 days after symptoms developed. This estimate does not take into account “long haulers” who may fight virus symptoms and complications for months.

On Friday, labs tested 36,966 samples for the virus and 1,404 were positive, a rate of 3.8%. The number of positive tests is not the same as the number of new cases because people may be tested more than once. Additionally, testing numbers are from a single calendar date, while the number of new cases lists the increase since the last time the state compiled the data; these two time frames do not match up precisely.

Kent County recorded three more deaths, bringing its total to 659. It also confirmed 63 more cases for a total of 49,306 since the start of the pandemic.

Three other West Michigan counties recorded more death each:

  • Barry County: 45 total deaths; 3,474 total confirmed cases.
  • Branch County: 83 total deaths; 3,451 total confirmed cases.
  • Van Buren County: 86 total deaths; 4,754 total confirmed cases.

Wayne County, where Detroit is, saw 15 more deaths for a total of 3,951 and confirmed 220 more cases for a total of 95,898. Neighboring Oakland County has had 65,324 cases (131 more than the previous day) and 1,908 deaths (11more). Macomb County has had 56,025 cases (125 more) and 1,875 deaths (six more).

As of Thursday, Michigan had received a little more than 3 million doses of the vaccine from the federal government and about 2.5 million of those had been administered.

Effective Monday, everyone over the age of 50 with a preexisting condition and parents of children with special health needs is eligible to get vaccinated. Everyone over 50, regardless of whether they have a preexisting condition, will be eligible starting March 22. Despite that guidance, local health department say they intend to keep prioritizing people over the age of 65 and those who have been on the waitlist the longest.

The state’s case and hospitalization rates have recently plateaued and the rate of daily positive tests has crept up a few tenths of a percentage point over the last week or so. The rate of deaths, the metric that changes last, is still trending down. Still, things are significantly better than they were at the start of the year.

Michigan is also keeping an eye out for cases of the more transmissible B.1.1.7 variant. It has so far confirmed more than 400 cases of that variant, about two thirds of which are tied to a single outbreak at Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility in Ionia.