Michigan reports about 9,700 coronavirus cases over 2 days

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan reported 9,674 more confirmed cases of coronavirus over the weekend, as well as 12 more related deaths.

The Monday update, which includes two days’ worth of data, brings the total number of confirmed cases in Michigan to 747,697 since the virus was first detected here more than a year ago and the total number of associated deaths to 16,512.

On Saturday, labs tested 37,728 samples for the virus and 4,705 were positive, a percentage of 14.25%. On Sunday, 35,910 samples were tested and 5,294, or 14.74%, were positive.

Testing data from Friday, which was not included in Saturday’s update as usual, was also released Monday: 44,448 samples were tested and 7,054, or 15.87%, were positive.

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 confirmed 452 more cases over the two days for a total of 57,209 since the start of the pandemic. The number of deaths remained unchanged from Saturday at 700.

Three West Michigan counties did record additional deaths:

  • Berrien County: One more death for 237 total; 12,332 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.
  • Kalamazoo County: Three more deaths for 297 total; 16,767 total cases.
  • Ottawa County: One more death for 339 total; 25,325 total cases.

Wayne County, hit hardest the by virus, confirmed 1,981 more cases for a total of 124,887. The number of deaths was revised down by one to 4,106. This has not been uncommon as cases are double-checked and sometimes moved between jurisdictions.

Neighboring Oakland County has had 85,087 cases (1,098 more than reported Saturday) and 1,978 deaths (no change). Macomb County has had 76,646 cases (1,113 more) and 1,961 deaths (one more).

Michigan has the worst coronavirus surge in the nation, with the case rate higher than it has been since late November, the seven-day average of the test positivity rate above 18% and more confirmed cases of the more transmissible variants than any other state.

Hospitalizations are rising quickly: On Monday, 3,918 adult inpatients were confirmed to have COVID-19, surpassing the fall peak of 3,884.

The good news is that the death rate has not grown at the same rate it did during the last surge. In early November, as cases were trending up and the rate was about the same as it is now, the seven-day average of the daily death rate was around 50. It is currently a little higher than 30.

DOCTOR: WATCH FOR SIGNS OF MIS-C

As people under the age of 19 see particularly high case rates, a West Michigan doctor is warning parents to be on the lookout for multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C.

It’s a complication that can develop after kids catch the virus and it can be fatal. It is rare, appearing in about 2% of all pediatric cases. So far, Michigan has recorded 99 cases of it.

“Even … if you didn’t know they had COVID-19, it is worthwhile to have your child assessed,” Dr. Rosemary Olivero, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, said. “Because one thing that’s very challenging is because children are so mildly affected when it comes to COVID-19, there’ve been several cases where the family doesn’t even know the child was sick at all. So as we know COVID is so common in the state of Michigan right, now even if your child wasn’t diagnosed with COVID-19, if they have symptoms that I mentioned, it’s worthwhile to have them assessed for possible MIS-C.”

The state on Monday added 51 locations to list of outbreaks at K-12 schools, colleges and universities, bringing the total number of such outbreaks to 336. Forty-eight of the new outbreaks were at K-12 schools specifically; they are now responsible for more outbreaks than any other type of setting.

Concerned about increased spread in schools after spring break, the state helped to set up pop-up rapid testing sites for families returning from trips. The Kent County Intermediate School District hosted a few over the past three days, and said a total of 4,291 tests were administered:

  • 825 at East Kentwood High School on Friday.
  • 2,135 at the Kent ISD on Saturday and Sunday.
  • 924 at Grandville High School on Sunday.
  • 427 at Sparta High School on Sunday.

“We would like to thank the thousands of families who chose to be tested over the weekend before returning to school,” Kent ISD Interim Superintendent Ron Koehler said in a Monday statement. “Their desire to be tested made it possible for schools to open safely today all across Kent ISD. We are committed to doing whatever we can to maintain a safe learning environment for students and staff alike. We’d also like to thank the Kent County Health Department for their assistance and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for making these popup testing opportunities available.”

—News 8’s Lynsey Mukomel contributed to this report.

VACCINE ROLLOUT

The state has received nearly 5.7 million vaccine doses and more than 5.1 million of those have been administered. About 40% of the state’s population over the age of 16 has received at least one shot. The goal is to reach 70%.

The West Michigan Vaccine Clinic at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids says it has plenty of doses. In a Monday release, it said more appointments had just opened this week, particularly on Wednesday. You can sign up to get one at WMVaccineClinic.org. Clinic organizers said they hope to give 24,000 shots between Monday and Wednesday.

At the Calhoun County Public Health Department is making it even easier to get a shot: It has scheduled a few walk-in clinics this week.

In Albion, you can go to the Albion College Dow Center at 415 S. Hannah St. from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday to get the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

In Battle Creek, there will be three clinics at the YMCA Multi Sports Complex at 86 Cherry St., offering the Pfizer vaccine:

  • 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday
  • 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday
  • 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Friday

You can also register for a clinic at CalhounCountyMI.gov/COVIDvaccine.

If you live elsewhere in West Michigan, you can look for appointments near you starting at VaccinateWestMI.com.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has set a goal for the state to average 100,000 shots administered per day.

WHITMER ON SURGE

As the surge continues, Whitmer on Friday strongly suggested — but did not order — everyone to avoid social gatherings or dining indoors at restaurants for the next two weeks, and suggested schools to go virtual for two weeks following spring break.

Whitmer has also called on the federal government to send Michigan more COVID-19 vaccines.

“I would submit … that in an undertaking of this magnitude, with such consequence, it’s important to recognize where there might need to be some adjustments along the way,” Whitmer told CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday. “We are seeing a surge in Michigan, despite the fact that we have some of the strongest policies in place: mask mandates, capacity limits work from home, we’ve asked our state to take a two-week pause. So despite all of that, we are seeing a surge because of these variants, and that’s precisely why we’re really encouraging them (the Biden administration) to think about surging vaccines into the state of Michigan.”

The White House does not plan to do that, but is offering more resources to help get shots in arms, ramp up testing and provide treatment to those who are sick. Whitmer said she will take advantage of everything offered and praised the coronavirus response from President Joe Biden’s administration — with which she is close — but also said she would keep pushing for more vaccine doses.

“What’s happening in Michigan today could be what’s happening in other states tomorrow and so it’s on all of us to recognize if we can squash where we’re seeing hot spots, it’s in everyone’s best interest,” Whitmer told “Face the Nation.”