4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020


MDHHS outlines state's increasing COVID-19 cases

Posted at 6:50 AM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 06:50:03-04

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services gave an update on the state's COVID-19 trends Wednesday morning.

The 11:15 a.m. briefing comes as Michigan's case rates and test positivity have seen an increase over the past few weeks.

Michigan also has the second-most cases of the B.1.1.7 UK variant in the country, with 616 cases detected as of Wednesday morning.

RELATED: Michigan has the 2nd-most B.1.1.7 coronavirus cases in the country

A case of the B 1351 variant first identified in South Africa has also been found in Michigan.

Dr. Sarah Lyon-Callo, director of the Bureau of Epidemiology and Population Health at MDHHS, hosted the briefing.

Watch the briefing:

Callo says Michigan stands out in its increase in cases, though 11 states across the country have also seen increases and have serious outbreaks.

Statewide positivity has increased to 5.1% and is either increasing or plateauing in all regions.

Kalamazoo has seen its test positivity rate increase to above 7%.

The region, with a 7.4% positivity, is at 172 cases per million people.

These increases or plateaus are consistent across most age groups, race and ethnic groups.

Callo expects current trends to continue.

Test positivity increases can signal two issues: The state may not be testing enough, and/or COVID-19 cases are increasing.

Cases per million are highest among those 30 to 49 years old and 9 to 29 years of age.

Those 10-19 have the highest case rate -- and their cases are increasing faster than any other age group.

School settings have seen the most outbreaks out of any other setting.

However, school sports have been more of a concern than classroom environments, MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel said.

Nursing homes are also seeing outbreaks, but less than in the past thanks to vaccination efforts, Callo said.

As of Wednesday morning, 949 hospitalized patients are confirmed to have COVID-19 -- up 14% from just last week.

That growth is also accelerating, with a 9% increase two weeks ago.

At this rate, Callo says, the state can expect 2,000 coronavirus patients in its hospitals.

Officials are also seeing a "very low proportion" of cases that are quarantining when symptoms of the virus begin.

Mobility levels have increased to almost pre-pandemic levels, according to Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Vaccinations have also been steadily increasing, however.

More than 3.1 million doses have been reported as being administered to nearly a quarter of Michigan adults age 16 or older.

That amounts to about 2 million residents receiving at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

But Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive at MDHHS, says the state is nowhere near reaching herd immunity.

Officials aren't sure why Michigan is seeing more of an increase in cases than most surrounding states, or how much of an impact the variants have had.