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Michigan seeing concerning rise in COVID-19 cases; 5th-highest rate in US over past week

Coronavirus tests
Posted at 12:24 PM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 12:24:40-04

(WXYZ) — Michigan reported 3,164 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, the highest daily total in more than two months. It's a concerning trend in the state's battle against COVID-19.

Over the past week, Michigan has the fifth-highest rate of new cases in the country. On Thursday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will be at Ford Field to discuss the opening of the new mass vaccination clinic.

Related: Michigan's current coronavirus case rate is increasing, now similar to last October

Officials say the continued spread of new, more contagious coronavirus variants – specifically B.1.1.7., ad people not quarantining once they have symptoms.

According to the state, about 70% of people are not isolating once they start showing symptoms.

There is a silver lining and it's an important one – no new deaths were reported, and progress on vaccinations continues.

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

There were more than 13,000 new cases reported in the last week, according to state health officials. The state's positivity rate is now at 5.2%.

Michigan and Minnesota are standing out in the Midwest as showing spikes, while neighboring states are either plateauing or seeing a decline in new cases.

While cases are climbing, the state said more than 3 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, and almost 25% of Michiganders 16 and up have had at least one dose.

That's up 60% for Michiganders 65 and older, which means we're better than we were in the fall.

“We will not see the type of surge we saw in 2020 but I still think we are at risk," MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said.

Most of the state's new cases are in schools and nursing homes, but outbreaks are high among people in age groups 0-29 or 30-49.

New cases in restaurants and bars, social gatherings and religious services remain low, but the more contagious variants of the virus continue to spread.

The B.1.1.7. variant is now in 31 counties in both peninsulas. State health officials say more than half of those cases are in the Michigan Department of Corrections, and as testing continues, they expect to see more cases of the variant.

Some good news, on April 5, all Michiganders age 16 and older become eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Covid-19 Vaccine Public Faq Final 710077 7 by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd

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