As Michigan tops 20K cases a day, state gets first shipment of oral COVID-19 meds

By: - January 7, 2022 4:12 pm

Michigan State University Union | Susan J. Demas

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced Friday that the state has received an initial, limited supply of the new oral COVID-19 treatments paxlovid and molnupiravir.

Both medications were recently authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Meant to treat mild to moderate COVID-19, the quantity of the antiviral drugs are limited, so the DHHS has developed eligibility criteria to ensure the most at-risk Michiganders with COVID-19 have first access.

“The authorization of these new medications provides another important tool to help fight the virus,” said DHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel.

 “… We ask Michiganders to be patient as providers will prioritize people at highest risk for developing serious illness from the virus. We are committed to distributing these pills equitably across the state, and access will increase as Michigan receives more allocations from the federal government,” Hertel said.

The department continues to strongly recommend for all residents to be fully inoculated and boosted against COVID-19 as the state experiences its worst wave of the virus yet.

DHHS reported Friday that a total of 1,636,611 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 27,822 have died from the virus — an additional 40,692 cases and 259 deaths since Wednesday.

The new numbers combine Thursday’s and Friday’s recorded cases and deaths, with an average of 20,346 new confirmed cases per day. DHHS publishes COVID-19 data three times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The deaths announced include 136 deaths identified during a vital records review. DHHS conducts this review process two times per week.

As of Jan. 3, the state reports a total of 4,197 COVID-19 hospitalizations across Michigan hospitals, with 792 of those in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and an average bed occupancy of 81%.

DHHS also reports that an additional 219,047 Michiganders have been identified as “probable” cases for COVID-19, as well as 2,133 probable deaths. The department began tracking probable cases on April 5, 2020.

Combining the state’s confirmed positive cases with probable cases brings the total up to 1,855,658 statewide cases and 29,955 deaths.

The virus has been detected in all of Michigan’s 83 counties. The state’s COVID-19 fatality rate is currently at 1.7%.

As of Dec. 29, the state reports that 1,284,015 people have recovered from COVID-19.

The first two cases of COVID-19 were reported in the state on March 10, 2020. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency that day.

Johns Hopkins University reports that there are about 301.7 million confirmed cases worldwide and 5.4 million deaths. The United States makes up a significant portion of those, as 58.8 million confirmed cases and 834,917 deaths have been recorded nationally.

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Laina G. Stebbins
Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, Native issues and criminal justice for the Advance. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service. When Laina is not writing or spending time with her cats, she loves art and design, listening to music, playing piano, enjoying good food and being out in nature (especially Up North).