Michigan sets new record Monday for COVID hospitalizations

By: - January 10, 2022 5:54 pm

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Updated, 6:38 p.m., 1/10/22 with comments from DHHS

Michigan set a new record Monday for the highest number of patients hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, with 4,580 adults currently hospitalized. An additional 321 adults are hospitalized with suspected cases of COVID-19.

Of the 830 confirmed COVID-19 patients who are in the ICU, 539 are on ventilators.

Additionally, 108 children are hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19.

About 81.8% of all adult hospital inpatient beds are currently occupied, and about 84% of adult ICU beds are occupied.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Monday that a total of 1,681,135 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 27,8778 have died from the virus — an additional 44,524 cases and 56 deaths since Friday.

The new numbers combine Saturday’s, Sunday’s and Monday’s recorded cases and deaths, with an average of 14,841 new confirmed cases per day. DHHS publishes COVID-19 data three times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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 state is also reporting school- and sports-related COVID-19 outbreaks on a weekly basis. As of Monday, 211 pre-kindergarten-12 schools are reporting new or ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks. 

Of those, eight are new outbreaks reported Monday.

“We have issued school guidance to strongly recommend a universal mask mandate in schools along with other CDC-developed prevention strategies that schools and local health departments can use together to reduce the spread of COVID-19, maintain in-person learning and protect people who are not yet fully vaccinated.  At this time, 189 districts have mask requirement. This accounts for 690,317 kids,” said DHHS spokesperson Lynn Sutfin.

“Our priority is to keep students in school for in-person instruction, and the best way to do that is by getting children vaccinated and wearing a mask. Everyone 5 years and older can get the vaccine and the vaccine is our best protection against the virus.”

The state stopped reporting COVID-19 outbreaks in colleges and universities to “streamline the local health department weekly outbreak reporting survey to focus on congregate settings where patients and staff might be more at risk for infection and/or experience severe outcomes from infection” during the current surge in cases.

There are 107 pre-kindergarten-12 schools with outbreaks of 10 cases or more, including Wern High School (100 cases), St. Johns Middle School (82 cases), Pinconning High School (76 cases), Garber High School (75 cases), Ovid Elsie High School (74 cases), Wern Middle School (71 cases) and Bay City Central High School (71 cases).

There are some holes in the state’s reporting of school-related outbreaks, as DHHS doesn’t track individual COVID-19 cases in schools and relies on local health departments to track and report. 

To be considered an outbreak, the local health department must have found three or more COVID-19 cases that may have shared exposure on school grounds and are from different households. Previously, the state considered an outbreak to be two or more COVID-19 cases. 

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Case counts for school-related outbreaks include those associated with before and after school programs and cases originating from on-campus and off-campus student housing. 

According to DHHS spokesperson Lynn Sutfin, students or staff who were exposed to COVID-19 outside of school grounds and are not thought to have spread the disease on the school grounds are not included in the report.

Michigan’s two largest universities, University of Michigan and Michigan State University, are reporting significant outbreaks. 

Michigan State University reported that as of last Tuesday, it was aware of 1,171 cases of COVID-19 among students, faculty and staff since the week of Aug. 2. University of Michigan reports that within the last 14 days, 2,182 staff and students have tested positive for COVID-19. 

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

Michigan’s test positivity rate was 35.3% as of Thursday. Total cases are likely being undercounted due to the fact that at-home test kit results are often not reported to the state.

The state has confirmed 617 cases of the omicron variant and 30,295 cases of the Delta variant. However, not all positive tests are sequenced to detect variants.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as many as 93.7% of cases in the region that includes Michigan are of the omicron variant of COVID-19. They estimate that 6.3% are the delta variant.

As of Thursday, the state reports that 1,342,025 people have recovered from COVID-19.

DHHS also reports that 5,444,039 Michigan residents, accounting for 57.8% of the state’s total population, have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, indicating at least two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Another 541,154 residents have been partially vaccinated, indicating they have received the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines but have not yet received the second.

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 309.2 million confirmed cases worldwide and 5.5 million deaths. The United States makes up a significant portion of those, as 61 million confirmed cases and 838,813 deaths have been recorded nationally.

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Andrew Roth
Andrew Roth

Andrew Roth is a former reporting intern with the Michigan Advance. He has been covering Michigan policy and politics for three years across a number of publications and studies journalism at Michigan State University.