The Perfect Enemy | Michigan adds 11,918 cases, 242 deaths from COVID-19 over last week
February 24, 2024

The state added 11,918 cases of COVID-19 over the past week, with 242 deaths, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday.

Michigan reported an average of about 1,703 cases per day over the last seven days, a 35% increase from a daily average of 1,262 cases a week prior.

On Nov. 29, the state said it had added 8,831 cases and 113 deaths from the virus in the previous week. The state tally does not include those who test positive with an at-home test.

Holiday travel this year will be just shy of pre-pandemic levels, experts predict, with Americans opting for warmer weather and destinations like Florida and Cancun to celebrate.

Statewide health experts are not concerned about an increase in deaths as records lag, said Dr. Preeti Malani, infectious disease professor at Michigan Medicine.

On Monday, the state reported that 974 adults and 29 pediatric patients were hospitalized with confirmed infections, a decrease from last week’s 894 adults and 22 children. Inpatient records were set on Jan. 10, when 4,580 adults were hospitalized with COVID-19.

On Monday in Michigan, about 6% of the state’s hospital beds were filled with COVID-19 patients, and there was an average of 1,823 emergency room visits related to COVID-19 per day in the state. That compares with 24% of hospital beds being full and 2,889 daily emergency room visits due to the virus in the first week of January.

All Metro Detroit health departments are following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that recommend indoor masking for public settings and K-12 schools as the rate of infection has grown from “medium” to “high.”

Tuesday’s additions bring the state’s overall totals to 2,950,351 cases and 40,327 deaths since the virus was first detected here in March 2020.

The federal Food and Drug Administration in September signed off on updated versions of the mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) gave its approval, as did CDC director Rochelle Walensky and is now available in Michigan. 

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Michigan data

As of Monday, no counties in Michigan are at a “high level” for the increased burden on health care or severe disease. Eleven Michigan counties have a “medium” transmission level, according to the state health department.

Case counts are well below early January, when the state set a new high mark with more than 20,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per day.

In Michigan, variants of the virus have moved at a high rate, proving more contagious than past variants and infecting unvaccinated and vaccinated residents.

A new iteration of the omicron variant, BA.5, now is the dominant strain across the country, thanks to its elusiveness when encountering the human immune system. The size of that wave is unclear because most people are testing at home or not testing at all. 

Antibodies from vaccines and previous COVID-19 infections offer limited protection against BA.5, leading experts to call it “the worst version of the virus that we’ve seen.”

In Michigan, 319 cases of a rare inflammatory condition in children linked with the coronavirus have been reported to the CDC. About 63% of kids with the syndrome are admitted to intensive care units, and there have been five deaths.

As of Monday, 35 outbreaks were reported over the prior week, 30 of which were reported in long-term care facilities. The state is tracking 391 ongoing outbreak cases.

About 69% of state residents, or 6.9 million, have received their first doses of a vaccine, and more than 60% are fully vaccinated. More than 254,000 children ages 5-11 in Michigan, or 31%, have received their first dose of the vaccine.

More than 3.5 million individuals, or 38% of the eligible population, have received a vaccine booster.