LANSING, Mich. — Michigan health officials have confirmed 40,692 new cases of the coronavirus in the state and 259 additional deaths connected to COVID-19 since Wednesday.
Of those deaths, 136 were identified during a review of medical records.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reports confirmed cases averaged 20,346 per day over the two-day period.
There have now been 1,636,611 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 27,822 total deaths in Michigan.
As of Dec. 29, 1,284,015 have recovered from the virus.
18,233,125 COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed throughout the state, and 11,024,777 have been administered as of January 6.
63.8% of residents have received at least one dose of a vaccine.
MDHSS is now reporting statewide COVID-19 data three days a week.
Children as young as 5 can now receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on a recommendation for an emergency use authorization for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 to 11 years old on November 2.
According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, there have been more than 201,000 COVID-19 cases confirmed in people aged 19 and younger. More than 450 children under the age of 12 become infected with the virus each day.
Vaccines for children 5 and older are available immediately.
Several of West Michigan's counties have moved into the CDC's "substantial" or "high" transmission categories, meaning indoor masking is recommended for all regardless of vaccination status.
As cases of the delta variant of COVID-19 continue to rise, some colleges and universities have issued vaccine and mask mandates for the fall semester.
On Aug. 10, Michigan’s Board of Education approved a resolution to support allowing local school districts to make “scientifically informed decisions” about whether to mandate COVID-19 masks for all students, teachers and visitors.
Gov. Whitmer has already said she will not require masks in schools this year but has endorsed a recommendation from the state health department for universal masking in school buildings.
On July 1, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the “MI Shot to Win” sweepstakes, a lottery drawing for those who have gotten or will get their COVID-19 vaccine.
The sweepstakes included scholarship drawings, daily drawings and two big drawings – one of $1 million and one of $2 million.
MORE: Here are the prizes and rules for the MI Shot to Win vaccine sweepstakes
Michigan lifted all broad COVID-19 epidemic orders on gatherings and masking on June 22.
As of June 22, capacity in both indoor and outdoor settings increased to 100% and the state stopped requiring residents to wear a face mask.
The governor had previously said the state would lift its broad mask and gatherings limits on July 1.
Starting June 22, all broad broad epidemic orders will be lifted. That means both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals will no longer need to wear a face-covering indoors and restaurants and bars can operate at full capacity.
The state also lifted additional orders on June 22.
Though additional orders were lifted, epidemic orders in effect to protect vulnerable populations in corrections, long-term care and agriculture will remain.
Whitmer also says public health measures will continue for reporting requirements and COVID testing to make sure areas where community spread is high are identified, kids are safe in school and free COVID-19 tests are available.
The governor's office cited plummeting COVID-19 cases and increased vaccination rates as factors in the decision to lift restrictions earlier than planned.
Michigan health officials are recommending – but not requiring – masks and social distancing for schools this upcoming fall.
They say the goal is to reduce disruptions to in-person learning and help protect those who are not fully vaccinated, according to a news release Friday.
This interactive map tracks U.S. death milestones over time and an interactive timeline scrubber allows you to reveal cumulative deaths onto a county map. This map will update daily.
More information and resources on the coronavirus pandemic
Find the latest numbers on case numbers and deaths through Johns Hopkins University's coronavirus tracker.
Complete coverage of the pandemic is available on our coronavirus section.
Resources for individuals, families, businesses, and non-profits are the focus of our Rebound: West Michigan coverage.