107 Michigan COVID facts: Delta surging rapidly, masks in school, starting winter worse than last year

Delta surge speeding up as Michigan heads into winter months, officials say

A map showing the number of delta variant cases identified in each Michigan county for the week ending Oct. 11, 2021. (MDHHS)

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan released a new set of COVID data this week that shows the delta surge is speeding up again and the state is heading into the winter months with higher case rates than last year.

LAST REPORT (Sept. 30): Hospitals filling, new variant category, slowed increase in spread

The updated statistics also tackle one of the most talked-about topics in the state: mask mandates at schools.

Here are 107 takeaways from the latest data:

Michigan COVID trends

  • Michigan’s case rate is up to 304.4 cases per million people per day -- up from 258.9 cases per million the previous week.
  • Officials say Michigan is heading into the winter months and holiday season starting at higher case rates than last year.
  • All counties in Michigan are categorized as being at a “high” transmission level.
  • The state case rate has been increasing for three and a half straight months.
  • Michigan’s percent positivity is up from 10.3% last week to 11.2% this week.
  • The percentage of COVID tests coming back positive in Michigan has increased for two weeks in a row.
  • Michigan is still categorized as being at a level of “high transmission.”
  • There were 393 outbreaks and clusters in K-12 schools over this time period.
  • In the last seven days, only three states reported more cases than Michigan.
  • Michigan’s death rate is up to three deaths per million people per day.
  • The state’s death rate increased this week after decreasing the previous week. There were 210 COVID deaths between Sept. 28 and Oct. 4.
  • The 7-day average state testing rate increased to 4,095.1 tests per million people per day. The number of daily diagnostic tests is 41,500 per day, and the weekly average for PCR and antigen tests conducted in Michigan is 52,200.
  • Total number of active outbreaks is up 6% from last week, with 161 new outbreaks identified in Michigan.
  • Michigan’s positivity percentage is increasing in all eight geographical regions.
  • The positivity percentage in seven of the eight regions is above 10%.
  • Michigan’s cases rate is plateauing or increasing in most regions.

School cases and mask policies

  • K-12 schools reported the greatest number of new outbreaks and clusters (81) this week.
  • There were an additional 11 new outbreaks in childcare and youth programs, for a total of 92 outbreaks in settings primarily with 0-19-year-olds.
  • These school/child program outbreaks account for 57% of all known new outbreaks in Michigan.
  • State officials said 7% of school districts (36 total) have rescinded their mask policies.
  • 42% (222 out of 533) of K-12 school districts in Michigan have mandatory mask policies.
  • School districts with mandatory mask policies cover 60% (748,181 out of 1,252,808) of K-12 students.
  • 7% of K-12 school districts (36 total) have rescinded mask policies.
  • Districts without mask requirements are experiencing higher case rates.
  • The 5- to 18-year-old school population case rates are higher and rose faster in districts without mask requirements.
  • Districts with complete or partial mask requirements have lower COVID case rates and slower increases in those rates.
  • Districts with mask rules might also have other prevention measures that can contribute to lower transmission levels.

Delta variant

  • 100% of positive tests available for sequencing in Michigan were cases of the delta variant in the last four weeks.
  • COVID-19 transmission remains high, and early indicators show the delta surge might be speeding up again.


  • Nearly 11 million doses of the COVID vaccine have been administered.
  • 52.7% of Michigan’s population is fully vaccinated -- 5.26 million people total.
  • A total of 4,386 first doses are being administered each day.
  • An average of 22,833 total doses are being administered per day.
  • Doses are most often administered by pharmacies, local health departments and hospitals.
  • More than 893,000 third doses have been administered since Aug. 13, which might include additional doses or booster doses.
  • Through Oct. 12, 13,869,960 doses have been delivered to providers and Michigan, and 10,972,618 doses have been administered.
  • 84% of people 65 and older have completed the vaccination series.

Vaccine breakthrough cases

  • Michigan is part of the Center For Disease Control and Prevention’s nationwide investigation into COVID vaccine breakthrough cases.
  • Less than 1% of fully vaccinated Michiganders have experienced breakthrough cases of COVID.
  • Trends over time show that both case and death rates among the fully vaccinated are lower than in others.
  • The risk of infection and death remains significantly lower among the fully vaccinated.
  • Only 1,412 fully vaccinated Michiganders have been hospitalized with COVID.
  • Only 574 deaths have been reported in Michiganders who were fully vaccinated -- 504 of those in people ages 65 and older.
  • In the last 30 days, 16% of COVID cases, 24% of hospitalizations and 28% of deaths were among people who are fully vaccinated.

COVID cases in children

  • Each day in Michigan, more than 425 children under age 12 become infected with COVID-19.
  • On average, there are 50 more children getting infected per day in Michigan than last week
  • Pediatric case rates are up to 305.6 cases per million. Last week, that number was 269.4 cases per million.
  • The pediatric hospital census* is averaging approximately 34 per day (last week: 30 per day)
  • Case increases in Michigan are largest in school-aged children (5-18 years old).
  • School-aged children saw a rapid rise in COVID cases beginning over the school reopening period, and that trend has remained high following their return to school.


  • Officials identified 161 new outbreaks in the past week.
  • The increase in outbreaks since last week (364 to 393) includes increases in high schools (123 to 133), middle schools (89 to 92), and pre-K/elementary schools (146 to 164).
  • Outbreaks among school administration declined (from five to four outbreaks).
  • The greatest number of new outbreaks after schools was among long-term care/skilled nursing facilities, with 30.
  • There were seven new outbreaks in manufacturing/construction settings.
  • There were six new outbreaks in retail settings.
  • Eight other types of settings had at least one new outbreak in the last week, Michigan officials said.
  • The total number of active outbreaks is up 6% from last week.

Cases by age group

  • 31-50-year-olds are beginning to increase to the highest age group after school children.
  • Previous COVID surges had larger proportions of cases found in adults.
  • 10-19-years-olds are experiencing the greatest case burden, at 596 daily cases and 474.8 cases per million per day.
  • After 10-19-year-olds, the highest case rates, in order, are in these age groups: 30-39, 40-49, 20-29, and 0-9.
  • Case rate trends for all age groups are plateauing or increasing.
  • Case rates for all age groups are between 187 and 475 cases per million, as of Oct. 4.
  • Trend numbers and comparisons are being affected by longer backfill times.
  • This week, the highest growth was among those 70 and older.
  • Case rates for age groups 10-19, 30-39, and 40-49 are all higher than the state average case rate.
  • Case rates bottomed out on June 26, 2021.

National and global numbers

  • Globally, officials have confirmed 237,973,161 COVID cases and 4,854,144 COVID-related deaths, as of Oct. 10, 2021.
  • The United States has the highest number of confirmed cases, at 44,340,408.
  • India (33,971,607) and Brazil (21,575,820) have the next-highest case counts after the U.S.
  • Nearly every jurisdiction in the U.S. is categorized as having “high” community transmission.
  • Only California and Connecticut are categorized as having “substantial” community transmission.
  • Only Palau and Puerto Rico are categorized as having “moderate” community transmission.
  • While national case rates are decreasing, Michigan case rates continue to climb.
  • The nation’s seven-day moving average of daily new cases decreased 11.6% from the previous week.
  • The nation’s percent positivity decreased from the previous week and is down to 6.1%.
  • The U.S. is at a high transmission level (195.3 cases/100,000 in the last seven days), with 52 states/territories in substantial or high transmission.

Cases by race, ethnicity

  • Cases per million are increasing for Blacks, Non-Hispanic and White residents.
  • Case rates have plateaued for Asian/Pacific Islanders in Michigan.
  • 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, but those rates are declining.
  • Case rates for Non-Hispanic residents recently surpassed case rates for Hispanics.
  • In the past 30 days, 24% of race data and 28% of ethnicity data was either missing or reported as unknown.
  • Overall trends for daily average deaths are increasing for Non-Hispanic, Hispanic and White residents.
  • Currently, American Indian/Alaskan Native and White residents have the highest death rates

Hospitals and healthcare capacity

  • The percentage of inpatient beds occupied by COVID patients is up to 9.3%, which is up from 8% last week.
  • Both hospitalizations and ICU utilization are increasing in Michigan.
  • The hospitalization rate in Michigan has increased for 12 straight weeks.
  • Michigan has 30th-lowest inpatient bed utilization and 28th-lowest adult ICU bed utilization. Michigan has passed several states in that metric this week, as cases continue to rise.
  • 4.9% of emergency department visits are for COVID diagnoses (up from 4.1% last week).
  • Hospital admissions are increasing for most age groups this week.
  • The hospital census has increased 18% (vs. a 10% increase the previous week).
  • All Michigan regions experienced increasing trends in hospital census this week.
  • Four regions now have more than 200 hospitalizations per million population.
  • The volume of COVID patients in intensive care has increased 15% since last week.
  • Most age groups are seeing an increase in hospitalization rate.
  • Over past week, those 40-49 years old saw the highest number of average daily emergency department CLI visits (6.8%), but those between 40 and 74 are all above the state average.
  • Trends for daily average hospital admissions have increased 22% since last week.
  • Most age groups experienced a one-week increase in daily hospital admissions.
  • Over the past week, those 60-69 years old have seen the highest number of average daily hospital admissions (59 total).
  • Through Oct. 11, there were an average of 261 hospital admissions per day due to COVID, which is 47 more than last week.
  • The average daily hospital admission rates (111.7 hospital admissions per million people) are highest for those aged 80 and up.

COVID deaths

  • Michigan’s death rate has increased to three daily deaths per million residents (up from 2.8 deaths per million last week).
  • Through Oct. 4, the seven-day average death rate is more than 12 daily deaths per million people for those over the age of 70.
  • In the past 30 days, there have been six deaths among confirmed and probable COVID cases under the age of 20.
  • The 30-day proportion of deaths among those under 60 years of age is steady from the previous week.

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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.