(WWJ) Michigan is reporting the highest daily number of COVID-19 cases so far this year, for a second day in a row.
State health officials said there were 5,224 new confirmed cases recorded statewide on Thursday — the highest daily number since December 11, 2020.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services also reported 49 more related deaths; 30 of which were discovered in a check of death certificates.
This comes after 4,454 new confirmed cases were added Wednesday.
Some more concerning stats from the state:
- The positivity rate is now nearly three times the 3% threshold public health officials have said shows community spread is being controlled.
- Hospitalizations in Michigan have more than doubled in the last month, with 1,800 people now hospitalized with COVID-19.
- The number of COVID-19 patients is including more younger adults. Since March 1, hospitalizations increased by 633% for adults ages 30-39 and by 800% for adults ages 40-49, according to the Michigan Health and Hospital Association.
- Michigan now ranks 5th in the nation for the highest case rate, and 11th in hospitalizations
As for why, health officials suspect the growing case rates are driven by more transmissible, mutated strains of the virus — including B.1.1.7, known as the U.K. variant.
Outbreaks in recent weeks have been tied to schools, school sports, loosened restrictions, and pandemic fatigue.
Reacting to the surge, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is not hitting the panic button just yet.
"We know that every action we bring back online creates the risk inherent that we're going to see our numbers go up," she told WWJ's Vickie Thomas at a Pancakes and Politics event on Thursday.
"But here's the thing that's different from the spring surge: or even the fall surge: We now know a lot more about our common enemy, COVID-19," Whitmer said. "We know that if we wear masks and we socially distance and we wash our hands, that remains the best way to protect ourselves from COVID and the variants that are not very real and present here in Michigan."
At this point, the governor said she has no plans to reinstate tighter restrictions on indoor dining, sports and other activities.
Check the latest COVID-19 numbers for Michigan at michigan.gov/coronavirus/.
Want to get your shot?
Sign-up for the mass vaccination clinic at Ford Field in Detroit is available through these three options:
• Online at meijer.com/register/CL2021
• Text EndCOVID to 75049
• Call the MDHHS COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136 (press 1)
For other options check with your local health department, or visit Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine for the latest information.