Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s what to know March 18, 2021

2,629 new COVID cases reported Thursday

Michigan COVID-19 data as of March 18, 2021 (WDIV)

DETROIT – The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 618,421 as of Thursday, including 15,835 deaths, state officials report.

Thursday’s update includes a total of 2,629 new cases and 25 additional deaths, including 24 from a Vital Records review. On Wednesday, the state reported 615,792 total cases and 15,810 deaths.

NEW: Michigan: All adults eligible for COVID vaccine April 5

Testing has been steady around 35,000 diagnostic tests reported per day on average, with the 7-day positive rate above 6% as of Wednesday. The state has reported a slight up-tick in Hospitalizations over the last three weeks.

Michigan’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 2,073 on Wednesday -- the highest since early January. The 7-day death average was 14 on Wednesday. The state’s fatality rate is 2.6%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 43,300 on Wednesday -- near the lowest it’s been since October. More than 556,000 have recovered in Michigan.

Michigan has reported more than 3.2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered, as of Wednesday, with 25% of residents having received at least one dose.

According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 29.6 million cases have been reported in the U.S., with more than 538,100 deaths reported from the virus.

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

Michigan: All adults eligible for COVID vaccine April 5

The state of Michigan announced Friday that all residents age 16 and up will become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on April 5, nearly a month before the May 1 date pledged by President Joe Biden.

People age 16 to 49 with certain medical conditions or disabilities will qualify starting March 22, when 50- to 64-year-olds can begin getting shots under a previous announcement. Two days later, March 24, a federally selected regional mass vaccination site will open at Detroit’s Ford Field to administer an additional 6,000 doses a day for two months.

Learn more here.

MORE: Michigan’s updated COVID-19 vaccination schedule: Who is eligible and when

Michigan confirms first case of South African COVID variant in Jackson County

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced that the first case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.351 has been identified in a child in Jackson County.

The health department did not say how the boy was infected but a case investigation is underway to determine close contacts and if there are additional cases associated.

This new variant was originally detected in South Africa in October 2020 and shares some mutations with the B117 variant. The first case of the B117 variant -- originally detected in the United Kingdom -- was identified in Washtenaw County.

Michigan to expand COVID-19 vaccine plan to include residents age 50 and older

The state of Michigan will is expanding its COVID-19 vaccine plan to include residents age 50 and older, Local 4 has learned.

This week

Starting Monday, March 8, any Michigan residents age 50 and up with pre-existing medical conditions or disabilities will be eligible to make an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said.

Caregiver family members and guardians who care for children with special health care needs will also be eligible to receive the vaccine, starting Monday.

“The more people we can get the safe and effective vaccine, the faster we can return to a sense of normalcy,” Whitmer said. “I urge all eligible Michiganders to get one of the three COVID-19 vaccines to protect you, your family and your community.”

Later this month

On March 22, all Michiganders age 50 and up will become eligible, Local 4 has learned.

More than 40% of Michiganders age 65 and older have been vaccinated, according to the state.

“Over 2.3 million doses of the safe and effective COVID vaccines have been administered in Michigan, and we know more vaccine is coming into the state,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “We are pleased to expand eligibility for more people to get vaccinated as we continue to focus on our most vulnerable and those at highest risk of severe illness due to COVID-19.”

Michigan loosens COVID restrictions on restaurants -- here are all the details

The state of Michigan has loosened its COVID-19 restrictions on bars and restaurants, including the capacity limit and nightly curfew.

On Tuesday, March 2, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced the restrictions on indoor dining have been revised.

Starting Friday, March 5, Michigan restaurants and bars will be allowed to fill up to 50% capacity, with a maximum of 100 people, according to the state.

“I’m proud that we are able to take this positive step without compromising public health,” Whitmer said.

Since Feb. 1, restaurants had been capped at 25% capacity. From mid-November through the end of January, no indoor dining was allowed at bars or restaurants.

COVID variant cases in Michigan rise by more than 100

The number of the confirmed cases of a more contagious COVID-19 variant in Michigan increased by more than 100 this week, suggesting there is “undetected spread” in the community.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the chief medical director for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said the state has confirmed 422 cases of the COVID-19 B117 variant.

That number increased from 314 cases identified as of six days prior (Feb. 24).

Macomb County offers new COVID-19 vaccination site for seniors 60 and older

Through a partnership with SMART, Macomb County is offering a new vaccination location in Sterling Heights.

The vaccination site is at the Sterling Heights Senior Center on Utica Road, between Schoenherr and Van Dyke roads.

Appointments are required. Eligible residents and workers can call the SMART Macomb Vaccine line at 586-421-6579.

Wayne County announces new vaccination clinics for seniors

Wayne County announced it will open several vaccination clinics for residents 65 and older.

According to county Executive Warren Evans, the vaccination clinics will begin Feb. 23.

“I’m pleased Wayne County is now in a position to begin vaccinating seniors,” Evans said. “I know everyone is eager to safely get back to normal. Our team is working hard to ensure all of our residents can get their COVID shot as quickly as the vaccine is available.”

There are no walk-up appointments and seniors must make an appointment by calling the number for the site in their communities.

The full list of clinics and how to register can be found here.

Michigan COVID-19 daily reported cases since March 1:

  • March 1 -- 785 new cases
  • March 2 -- 1,067 new cases
  • March 3 -- 1,536 new cases
  • March 4 -- 1,526 new cases
  • March 5 -- 1,486 new cases
  • March 6 -- 1,289 new cases
  • March 7 -- 980 new cases
  • March 8 -- 980 new cases
  • March 9 -- 954 new cases
  • March 10 -- 2,316 new cases
  • March 11 -- 2,091 new cases
  • March 12 -- 2,403 new cases
  • March 13 -- 1,659 new cases
  • March 14 -- 1,571 new cases
  • March 15 -- 1,572 new cases
  • March 16 -- 2,048 new cases
  • March 17 -- 3,164 new cases
  • March 18 -- 2,629 new cases

Michigan COVID-19 daily reported deaths since March 1:

  • March 1 -- 6 new deaths
  • March 2 -- 24 new deaths (12 from vital records)
  • March 3 -- 5 new deaths
  • March 4 -- 37 new deaths (29 from vital records)
  • March 5 -- 10 new deaths
  • March 6 -- 56 new deaths (48 from vital records)
  • March 7 -- 2 new deaths
  • March 8 -- 2 new deaths
  • March 9 -- 29 new deaths (8 from vital records)
  • March 10 -- 8 new deaths
  • March 11 -- 23 new deaths (16 from vital records)
  • March 12 -- 8 new deaths
  • March 13 -- 38 new deaths (30 from vital records)
  • March 14 -- 4 new deaths
  • March 15 -- 5 new deaths
  • March 16 -- 27 new deaths (6 from vital records)
  • March 17 -- 0 new deaths
  • March 18 -- 25 new deaths (24 from vital records)

Coronavirus resources:

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About the Authors:

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