63 new Michigan COVID facts -- Hospital metrics, new variant category, slowed increase in spread

All 83 Michigan counties remain under ‘high’ transmission

A map showing all 83 Michigan counties at "high" transmission of COVID-19 on Sept. 30, 2021. (MDHHS)

Michigan has updated its breakdown of the latest COVID data and trends, showing a possible slowed increase in the spread of the virus, a new categorization for some variants and rising hospital metrics.

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The new data was posted Thursday morning but represents COVID facts in Michigan as of Tuesday (Sept. 28).

Here are 63 important takeaways:

COVID metrics

  • Michigan as a whole remains under the category of “high” transmission.
  • Cases per million are plateaued or decreasing in most Michigan geographical regions, though trend numbers are being impacted by backfill times, according to state officials.
  • The percent of COVID tests coming back positive has held steady from last week, at 8.8%. This is a 9% decline since the recent peak on Sept. 12.
  • The case rate rose from 234.4 cases per million people last week to 246.3 cases per million this week.
  • Michigan’s case rate has increased for three straight months.
  • The percentage of inpatient beds occupied by people with COVID in Michigan has increased to 7.4%.
  • The hospitalization rate in Michigan has increased for 10 straight weeks and is up from 7% last week.
  • Michigan has the 17th-lowest inpatient bed utilization in the country and the 13th lowest adult ICU bed utilization in the country.
  • The state’s death rate is 2.8 per million people, up from 2.3 deaths per million last week.
  • Michigan’s death rate has been increasing for eight straight weeks. There were 194 COVID deaths between Sept. 14 and Sept. 20.
  • The seven-day average testing rate in Michigan increased to 3,978.9 tests per million per day.

Regional facts

  • All 83 counties in Michigan are now categorized as being at a “high” transmission level.
  • Positivity is decreasing in three of Michigan’s eight geographical regions: Detroit, Kalamazoo and Lansing.
  • The percent positivity in six of Michigan’s regions is above 10%.

Delta variant

  • Of the positive tests available for sequencing in Michigan over the last four weeks, 99% have been identified as the delta variant.
  • Currently, only the delta variant and its sublineages are considered “variants of concern” in the United States.
  • The CDC has introduced a new class of variants, called “variants being monitored.” These are variants that are no longer detected or are circulating at very low levels in the country and don’t pose a significant threat to public health.
  • Currently, the alpha, beta, gamma, epsilon, eta, iota, kappa, mu, zeta and B.1.617.3 variants are all classified as “variants being monitored.”
  • The World Health Organization currently classifies delta, alpha, beta and gamma as “variants of concern.”


  • There have been 10.57 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered in Michigan.
  • About 52.25 of eligible Michiganders are fully vaccinated -- 5.21 million people.
  • 83.8% of Michiganders 65 and older are fully vaccinated.
  • Reports show third dose side effects are comparable to second dose side effects and are extremely rate, officials said.
  • An average of 4,723 first doses are being administered per day.
  • Most doses of the COVID vaccine are currently being administered by pharmacies, local health departments and hospitals.
  • 68,235 third doses of the vaccine have been administered since it was recommended for immunocompromised people.
  • Trends over time show case and death rates among fully vaccinated residents are much lower than unvaccinated residents.
  • Older age groups in Michigan have had higher vaccine coverage and lower case rates during the delta and alpha variant surges.

Vaccine breakthrough cases

  • Less than 1% of fully vaccinated Michiganders have experienced breakthrough cases of COVID.
  • There have been 30,867 fully vaccinated residents (0.636%) to receive a positive test 14 or more days after final dose.
  • A total of 417 fully vaccinated residents have died from COVID (0.009%) -- 368 in the 65 or older age group.
  • Only 1,211 fully vaccinated Michiganders (0.025%) have been hospitalized with COVID.
  • Out of 500,158 COVID cases during this testing period, 93.8% were in people who aren’t fully vaccinated.
  • Out of 14,191 COVID hospitalizations during this testing period, 91.5% were in people who aren’t fully vaccinated.
  • Out of 5,728 COVID deaths during this testing period, 92.7% were in people who aren’t fully vaccinated.

Future projections

  • Models from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention project cases, deaths and hospitalizations in Michigan are plateauing, or the increase is slowing.
  • Ridge regression models project cases and deaths will continue to increase in Michigan, although the trends might be slowing.
  • CDC data shows case rates among children are higher in counties where school districts don’t have mask policies.
  • Pediatric admissions are increasing and more than 50% of children hospitalized have no reported underlying conditions.


  • Hospitalizations and ICU utilization are increasing.
  • 3.9% of emergency department visits are for COVID diagnoses -- up from 3.5% last week.
  • Hospital admissions in Michigan are increasing for most age groups over the last week.
  • The hospital census has increased 9% after plateauing the week prior.
  • All Michigan regions experienced increasing hospitalization trends this week.
  • The volume of COVID patients in intensive care units has increased 6% since last week after seeing a 3% decrease the previous week.
  • Since hitting a July 22 low, the death rate in Michigan has seen a 547% increase over eight weeks.

Children and young adults

  • The greatest case burden is among 10- to 19-year-olds. That age group is experiencing 521 cases per million per day.
  • The age group representing children ages 0-9 saw the largest growth in the last week, rising by 10%.
  • Every day, nearly 370 children under age 12 get infected with COVID, which is 50 more children per day than last week.
  • The daily average pediatric hospital census is about 25.

Age group data

  • Case rate trends for all age groups in Michigan are slowing, with most age groups even decreasing.
  • Case rates for all age groups in Michigan are currently between 130 and 415 cases per million people per day, as of Sept. 20.
  • Case rates are currently highest for 10- to 19-year-olds, followed in order by people ages 30-39, 20-29, 40-49 and 0-9.
  • The age group seeing the largest decline in case rate trends is 20- to 29-year-olds, which is down 9%, or about 35 cases per day.
  • The case rates for age groups 10-19, 20-29, 30-39 and 40-49 are all higher than the overall Michigan case rate.

Racial, ethnic group data

  • The case rates are decreasing for most races and ethnicities in Michigan.
  • Michigan officials said the high number of cases with missing race/ethnicity data, and those multiracial or other are impacting the case rate data.
  • American Indian/Alaskan Native have the highest case rates.
  • In the past 30 days, 22% of race data and 26% of ethnicity data was either missing or reported as unknown.


  • The number of active outbreaks in Michigan is up 9% from last week.
  • Michigan officials have identified 168 new outbreaks in the past week.
  • The highest number of outbreaks were reported in K-12 schools this week, with 289 total and 105 new outbreaks.
  • The number of reported outbreaks increased since last week (218 to 289), including increases in high schools (88 to 107), middle/junior high schools (46 to 68), and pre-K/elementary schools (79 to 110).

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About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.