Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s what to know Jan. 21, 2021

2,165 new COVID cases reported Thursday

Michigan COVID-19 data through Jan. 21, 2021 (WDIV)

DETROIT – The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 544,311 as of Thursday, including 14,053 deaths, state officials report.

Thursday’s update includes 2,165 new cases and 148 additional deaths, including 128 deaths identified during a review of records -- meaning they did not occur between Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday, the state reported a total of 542,146 cases and 13,905 deaths.

New COVID-19 cases have plateaued and deaths are starting to flatten. Testing has been steady with more than 40,000 diagnostic tests reported per day on average, with the 7-day positive rate average below 7%. Hospitalizations continue to decline over the last several weeks.

Michigan’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 1,977 on Wednesday, the lowest since October. The 7-day death average was 51 on Wednesday. The state’s fatality rate is 2.6%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 85,800 on Wednesday -- near the lowest it’s been since November.

According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 24.5 million cases have been reported in the U.S., with more than 406,000 deaths reported from the virus.

Worldwide, more than 97 million people have been confirmed infected and more than 2 million have died. More than 51 million have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University. The true numbers are certainly much higher, because of limited testing, different ways nations count the dead and deliberate under-reporting by some governments.

More: First case of COVID variant detected in Michigan: What to know

Michigan COVID-19 vaccinations: How to find appointments, info on phases

Coronavirus headlines:

VIEW: Tracking Michigan COVID-19 vaccine doses 💉

VIEW: Tracking coronavirus cases, outbreaks in Michigan schools

Officials: 1st case of new COVID variant found in Michigan

Michigan officials have identified then state’s first case of a new coronavirus variant, believed to be more contagious, in an infected individual living in Washtenaw County.

Officials with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced Saturday, Jan. 16 that an adult female living in Washtenaw County has contracted a new COVID-19 variant, known as B.1.1.7. Officials say she recently traveled to the United Kingdom, where the variant was first identified and has recently sent part of that country into a strict lockdown to help curb virus spread.

According to authorities, two additional positive COVID cases have been identified among close contacts with the Washtenaw County woman, but it is unclear if those two individuals are also infected with the virus variant.

Read the full story here.

Michigan releases preliminary COVID vaccination timeline for other phases

Michigan has released a preliminary timeline to show a projection of when other phases can expect to begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Michigan recently moved into the 1B phase, which includes essential workers like teachers and opens up appointments for residents over the age of 65. Some counties have started vaccinating at this level, while some are still waiting to increase vaccine supply.

The preliminary timeline is fluid. It states very clearly,Dates are estimated and expected to change based on vaccine availability.” And vaccine availability is limited right now -- but it should be improving in the near future.

See the timeline here.

Michigan aims to resume indoor dining at restaurants on Feb. 1, Gov. Whitmer says

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the state is aiming to resume indoor dining at restaurants in February after a spike in COVID-19 cases late last year sparked a ban of more than two months.

Depending on how COVID-19 cases trend in the next two weeks, restaurants might be able to resume indoor dining with certain restrictions. Those rules would include a mask mandate, capacity rules and a curfew, Whitmer said.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is once again extending its order that put stricter COVID-19 rules into place throughout the state. The order, which was set to expire Friday (Jan. 15) is now in effect through the end of the month, but has loosened restrictions on indoor group exercise and non-contact sports.

TIMELINE: How COVID trends have actually changed during Michigan’s order

On Feb. 1, restaurants might be allowed to welcome customers back inside for the first time since Nov. 17, the day before the MDHHS “pause” went into effect.

Michigan moving to new phase of COVID vaccinations, including teachers, first responders, residents age 65

Michigan is moving on to a new phase of COVID-19 vaccinations, including teachers, first responders, childcare providers and residents 65 years of age and older.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Wednesday that the new phase of vaccinations will begin Monday, Jan. 11.

“We are pleased to move the state forward in the next stage of vaccinations,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive for MDHHS. “These vaccines are safe and effective, and we especially want our first responders, teachers and older adults to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The strategy we are announcing today is efficient, effective, and equitable, focusing on making vaccine available to those who have the highest level of risk, whether it is because of where they work or because of their age.”

See the full story here.

Whitmer encourages public schools to reopen for in-person learning by March 1

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is “strongly encouraging” Michigan public schools to reopen for in-person learning by the beginning of March.

Public schools in Michigan were shut down during the fall due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. Their buildings have been closed for about two months -- since the state reported thousands of COVID-19 cases per day in November.

“The value of in-person learning for our kids is immeasurable, and we must do everything we can to help them get a great education safely,” Whitmer said. “Over the last 10 months, medical experts and epidemiologists have closely followed the data and have learned that schools can establish a low risk of transmission by ensuring that everyone wears a mask and adopting careful infection prevention protocols.

I strongly encourage districts to provide as much face-to-face learning as possible, and my administration will work closely with them to get it done.”

Read more here.

Michigan COVID-19 daily reported cases since Jan. 1:

  • Jan. 1 -- 2,994 new cases
  • Jan. 2 -- 2,995 new cases
  • Jan. 3 -- 2,496 new cases
  • Jan. 4 -- 2,496 new cases
  • Jan. 5 -- 2,291 new cases
  • Jan. 6 -- 4,326 new cases
  • Jan. 7 -- 4,015 new cases
  • Jan. 8 -- 3,625 new cases
  • Jan. 9 -- 2,706 new cases
  • Jan. 10 -- 2,268 new cases
  • Jan. 11 -- 2,268 new cases
  • Jan. 12 -- 1,994 new cases
  • Jan. 13 -- 2,694 new cases
  • Jan. 14 -- 2,698 new cases
  • Jan. 15 -- 2,598 new cases
  • Jan. 16 -- 1,932 new cases
  • Jan. 17 -- 1,421 new cases
  • Jan. 18 -- 1,422 new cases
  • Jan. 19 -- 1,738 new cases
  • Jan. 20 -- 2,031 new cases
  • Jan. 21 -- 2,165 new cases

Michigan COVID-19 daily reported deaths since Jan. 1:

  • Jan. 1 -- 88 new deaths
  • Jan. 2 -- 89 new deaths
  • Jan. 3 -- 40 new deaths
  • Jan. 4 -- 40 new deaths
  • Jan. 5 -- 189 new deaths (117 from vital records)
  • Jan. 6 -- 51 new deaths
  • Jan. 7 -- 176 new deaths (138 from vital records)
  • Jan. 8 -- 38 new deaths
  • Jan. 9 -- 222 new deaths (207 from vital records)
  • Jan. 10 -- 23 new deaths
  • Jan. 11 -- 24 new deaths
  • Jan. 12 -- 100 new deaths
  • Jan. 13 -- 32 new deaths
  • Jan. 14 -- 139 new deaths (107 from vital records)
  • Jan. 15 -- 29 new deaths
  • Jan. 16 -- 103 (90 from vital records)
  • Jan. 17 -- 10 new deaths
  • Jan. 18 -- 10 new deaths
  • Jan. 19 -- 41 new deaths
  • Jan. 20 -- 40 new deaths
  • Jan. 21 -- 148 new deaths (128 from vital records)

Coronavirus resources:

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About the Authors:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.