DETROIT – The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 380,343 as of Thursday, including 9,580 deaths, state officials report.
Thursday’s update represents 7,146 new cases and 175 additional deaths, including 112 from a Vital Records review. On Wednesday, the state reported 373,197 total cases and 9,405 deaths.
New COVID-19 cases are slowing but deaths continue to rise in Michigan. Testing has increased in recent weeks, with more than 45,000 diagnostic tests reported per day. The positive test rate broke 15% on Dec. 2 with more than 70,000 tests reported. The last time it broke 15% was April 22 — with 7,000 tests reported.
Hospitalizations have increased steadily for the last five weeks, including upticks in critical care and ventilator use.
Michigan’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 6,917 on Wednesday, slightly lower than one week ago. The 7-day death average was 90, the highest since May. The state’s fatality rate is 2.5%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 198,900 on Wednesday, its highest mark on record. More than 165,000 have recovered in Michigan.
The U.S. recorded over 3,100 COVID-19 deaths in a single day, obliterating the record set last spring, while the number of Americans hospitalized with the virus has eclipsed 100,000 for the first time and new cases have begun topping 200,000 a day, according to figures released Thursday.The three benchmarks altogether showed a country slipping deeper into crisis, with perhaps the worst yet to come, in part because of the delayed effects from Thanksgiving, when millions of Americans disregarded warnings to stay home and celebrate only with members of their household.
U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney said a “plausible explanation” for the state order exists: People can’t eat or drink without removing their mask, a step that could spread the virus.
Maloney turned down a request for an injunction with a week left in the three-week indoor dining ban. Restaurants predict that the steady loss of customers could put many of them out of business. They also fear a possible extension of the order by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration.
The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association and some restaurants sued the state health director. They said they can safely provide indoor dining and were being treated unfairly when compared to other businesses.
Several Michigan hospitals, including some in Metro Detroit, are seeing more and more beds filled as COVID-19 continues to surge in the state.
Here’s a look at some bed occupancy percentages at hospitals in Southeast Michigan as of Nov. 30: (The percentage of staffed inpatient beds occupied by any patient regardless of COVID-19 status. This includes surge or overflow beds.) View here.
Since the summertime, we’ve been following data from Covid Act Now, a group of technologists, epidemiologists, health experts and public policy leaders that monitors and identifies each state’s risk level for a COVID-19 outbreak. For months, the group had only four risk level categories: “low,” “medium,” “high” and “critical.” As of Saturday, however, the group has included a new, fifth risk level: “severe.”
The map of color-coded states in “America’s COVID Warning System,” as the group calls it, is doing just that with its daunting red hues: warning Americans that the entire country has reached a critical moment with the virus. Covid Act Now has even labeled this virus surge as the country’s “third wave” of the coronavirus.
As of Saturday, 20 states — primarily those in the midwest — are colored maroon, meaning they are identified as experiencing a “severe outbreak” of COVID-19. Most of the remaining states — 27, to be exact — are labeled red, meaning they are experiencing “an active or imminent outbreak,” according to the data.
Michigan is currently labeled as experiencing an active or imminent outbreak, which is considered the critical level.
The Michigan Liquor Control Commission issued emergency suspensions of liquor licenses at the following establishments:
- Jimmy’s Roadhouse in Newaygo, permit held by Cory’s Restaurant, Inc.
- Brew Works of Fremont in Fremont, permit held by B. and D., LLC
- The Meeting Place in Fenton, permit held by The Meeting Place, LLC
Officials say all three establishments have violated the Michigan Department of Health and Human Service (MDHHS)’s latest emergency order that prohibits in-person dining services at all bars and restaurants, along with other restrictions affecting high schools, colleges workplaces and more.
Whitmer is asking Michiganders to wear masks, practice social distancing, wash hands frequently and avoid large gatherings over the holiday.
“Thanksgiving is about taking time to appreciate the things around us as well as give to others,” Whitmer said. “This year in particular, I am thankful for our frontline workers in our hospitals, child care centers, grocery stores, and everyone else who put their lives on the line to protect our families from COVID-19. As the weather gets colder and as cases continue to skyrocket, we must do everything we can to protect these heroes on the front lines. We all have a role to play to keep our family, friends, neighbors, and frontline workers safe. I know this year will be different, but to protect our families, frontline workers, and small businesses, we must make short-term sacrifices for our long-term health.”
Pfizer formally asked U.S. regulators Friday to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine. Emergency use of a vaccine is when regulators allow shots to be given to certain people while studies of safety and effectiveness are ongoing.
Before any vaccine is permitted in the U.S., it must be reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration, which requires study in thousands of people. Normally, the process to approve a new vaccine can take about a decade. But the federal government is using various methods to dramatically speed up the process for COVID-19 vaccines.
Michigan Gov. Whitmer was asked Thursday if the state can get its COVID-19 curve down enough over the next three weeks to avoid extending the new temporary restrictions on restaurants, schools and other parts of the economy.
“If we see meaningful movement in the right direction, that is possible,” Whitmer said. “That shows that we are capable of getting our arms around this.”
On Thursday Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the chief medical executive for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said the state’s hospitals are “closer and closer to becoming overwhelmed” and are currently, on average, about 79% full.
Michigan is entering a three-week “pause” to several activities in an effort to help stop a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
Under new restrictions issued Sunday evening by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), here’s what will be closed starting Wednesday, Nov. 18 until Dec. 8 in Michigan.
Note: The map in the article shows the entire state of Michigan under what MDHHS calls risk “Level E” — read that here.
What’s closed starting Wednesday, Nov. 18:
- High schools (in-person learning)
- Theaters, movie theaters, stadiums, arenas,
- Colleges and universities (in-person learning)
- Bowling centers, ice skating rinks, indoor water parks
- Work, when it can be done from home
- Bingo halls, casinos, arcades
- Dine-in restaurants and bars (indoor dining)
- Group fitness classes
- Personal services (salon, spa) that involve mask removal*
- Organized sports, except professional sports and certain NCAA sports (Big Ten football, for example)
What remains open during this three-week period:
- Indoor gatherings are still allowed but only between two households and with no more than 10 people.
- Small outdoor gatherings (25 people)
- Preschool through 8th grade (local district choice)
- Manufacturing, construction, other that is impossible to do remotely
- Public transit
- Hair salons, barber shops, other personal services (Per the MDHHS order — Section 4.e.: In facilities offering non-essential personal care services, including hair, nail, tanning, massage, traditional spa, tattoo, body art, and piercing services, and similar personal care services, gatherings are only permitted to the extent that services do not involve the removal of face masks. All services must be provided by appointment, and gatherings in waiting areas are prohibited.)
- Gyms and pools (for individual exercise only)
- Restaurants and bars (for outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery only)
- Professional sports (without spectators)
- Parks and outdoor recreation
- Funerals (25 people)
- Health care
One of the biggest challenges with containing COVID-19 is trying to limit gatherings — and a new interactive tool shows just how risky it could be.
Researchers at Georgia Tech released a the “COVID-19 Risk Assessment Planning Tool,” a peer-reviewed resource that tells you the risk of being around someone with COVID-19, by the event size, in each U.S. county, in real-time.
According to the data, as of Nov. 13, at an event with 10 people, the risk of a person present with COVID-19 is 19% in Wayne County, 30% in Macomb County and 24% in Oakland County.
If that event is with 25 people, the risk increases to 41% in Wayne County, 59% in Macomb County and 37% in Oakland County.
At an event with 100 people, risk levels in pretty much every Michigan county surpasses 80%, including some at 99%, like Kent and Calhoun counties.
Michigan hospitals are rapidly filling with COVID-19 patients once again, and experts are warning residents that if this trend continues, it will be disastrous for the state’s health care system.
Brian Peters, the CEO of the Michigan Heath and Hospital Association, spoke about the state’s latest rise in COVID-19 cases during a virtual panel discussion Thursday. The MHA represents all the hospitals and health systems throughout Michigan.
“I can tell you, very clearly, that we are squarely in the midst of a public health crisis,” Peters said.
The MHA is seeing warning signs from all hospitals — from the small, rural hospitals to the largest urban systems — in every corner of that state, he said.
“Our hospitals are rapidly filling with COVID-19 patients at a very alarming rate,” Peters said. “If this continues in the coming weeks, we will surpass our all-time record high in terms of COVID-19 inpatient hospitalization numbers here in the state of Michigan.”
Michigan is expanding its COVID-19 exposure app for residents to use statewide after a successful pilot program in October.
The anonymous, no cost and voluntary app, piloted in Ingham County and on the campus of Michigan State University last month, lets users know whether they may have recently been exposed to COVID-19. Users can confidentially submit a positive test result into the app and alert others in recent proximity that they may have also been exposed to the virus.
Michigan COVID-19 daily reported cases since Nov. 15:
- Nov. 15 — 6,381 new cases
- Nov. 16 — 6,382 new cases
- Nov. 17 — 7,458 new cases
- Nov. 18 — 5,772 new cases
- Nov. 19 — 7,592 new cases
- Nov. 20 — 9,779 new cases (new single-day record)
- Nov. 21 — 7,528 new cases
- Nov. 22 — 5,755 new cases
- Nov. 23 — 5,756 new cases
- Nov. 24 — 6,290 new cases
- Nov. 25 — 4,273 new cases
- Nov. 26 — 8,581 new cases
- Nov. 27 — 8,581 new cases
- Nov. 28 — 8,080 new cases
- Nov. 29 — 5,214 new cases
- Nov. 30 — 5,214 new cases
- Dec. 1 — 5,793 new cases
- Dec. 2 — 6,955 new cases
- Dec. 3 — 7,146 new cases
Michigan COVID-19 daily reported deaths since Nov. 15:
- Nov. 15 — 27 new deaths
- Nov. 16 — 28 new deaths
- Nov. 17 — 79 new deaths (24 from vital records)
- Nov. 18 — 62 new deaths
- Nov. 19 — 134 new deaths (61 from vital records)
- Nov. 20 — 53 new deaths
- Nov. 21 — 101 new deaths
- Nov. 22 — 32 new deaths
- Nov. 23 — 33 new deaths
- Nov. 24 — 145 new deaths (51 from vital records)
- Nov. 25 — 73 new deaths
- Nov. 26 — 86 new deaths
- Nov. 27 — 86 new deaths
- Nov. 28 — 103 new deaths (70 from vital records)
- Nov. 29 — 49 new deaths
- Nov. 30 — 49 new deaths
- Dec. 1 — 190 new deaths (30 from vital records)
- Dec. 2 — 81 new deaths
- Dec. 3 — 175 new deaths (112 from vital records)
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