Michigan leaders fear fourth wave amid surging COVID-19 numbers

NOW: Michigan leaders fear fourth wave amid surging COVID-19 numbers

NILES, Mich. -- Michigan now becoming a national concern as numbers continue to spike in the Great Lakes State. Let’s breakdown the numbers that are causing the concern.

Currently, Michigan has the fourth highest average of COVID-19 cases per capita. In the past three weeks, the daily case average has doubled. Just last Wednesday, there were 3,164 new cases in one day, the most reported since January. The state’s 7 – day average totaling now above 2,500 with a spike of 53% in confirmed cases. The CDC reports hospitalizations are also up by 24%.

As for vaccines, state officials say 90,000 vaccines are distributed daily, even so, less than 25% of state population has been vaccinated. In response, Governor Gretchen Whitmer does not plan on tightening COVID-19 restrictions but cautions people to take personal responsibility.

“I know it feels like universally people wanted to reengage a lot of things that have come online in the last few weeks. We also knew when we did that we would increase the risk of spread. And that’s what we are seeing. The difference is right now, we know a lot more about this virus, and we are ramping up our vaccinations. But we are going to watch it closely because these variants are very concerning. If we all take our own personal responsibility here, we can keep these things reengaged and do it safely,” says Governor Whitmer.  

State officials say the age group with the highest numbers right now? Ages 10 to 19. While Michigan schools have increased the number of students for in-person learning, the spike is attributed to sports and extra-curricular activities. As a result, Michigan will now mandate testing among high school sports. Starting on April 2nd, all athletes ages 13 to 19 must participate in a weekly coronavirus testing program.

State officials pointing to 315 COVID outbreaks associated with sports teams in January and February. These school related outbreaks now surpassing those in long term care facilities. However, Governor Gretchen Whitmer says COVID-related deaths have not seen an increase.

“While we can count up increasing vaccine metrics, we must continue to be wary of the climbing COVID numbers, too. Cases have been rising since late February. Thankfully, deaths have remained low. And on Wednesday, we had zero reported deaths for the first time in months, which is excellent news. A significant number of the recent cases have been attributed to high school athletics,” says Governor Whitmer.  

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