Michigan sees biggest spike in daily COVID-19 cases since beginning of pandemic

Health experts fear it could be the beginning of a second wave

Europe’s second wave of coronavirus infections has struck well before flu season even started.

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Michigan rose to 134,656 as of Saturday.

Saturday’s update brought 1,522 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, the highest daily count since April 7.

The weekly average of daily new COVID-19 cases hit 1,020 -- the highest since April 17.

Hospitalizations have increased steadily for the last three weeks, including a slight uptick in critical care.

Michigan isn’t alone in seeing the rise. Six states -- including Ohio -- had record breaking single-day increases of cases, leading to new fears that we may be at the beginning of a second wave.

“We’re quite fearful for what we are heading into and what we’re starting to see in our hospitals," said Dr. Megan Ranney, with Brown University. “We are all deeply afraid that this is the beginning of that dreaded second wave.”

A second wave of COVID-19 is already happening in Europe.

READ: Lesson not learned: Europe unprepared as 2nd virus wave hits

Ranney said doctors all over the country are starting to see more severe cases. The warning of a second wave comes a day after health officials reported the highest number of new COVID-19 cases in nearly two months.

“We did see those spikes in numbers that were largely young people going back to college," Ranney said. "But what we’re seeing now is that it’s starting to spread within the community.”

White House Coronavirus Task Force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx agrees.

“Community spread is now occurring with small gatherings," Birx said. "Day after day, households and families and friends.”

READ: Birx urges people to wear masks, practice social distancing

An updated coronavirus projection model claims the U.S. could see 395,000 deaths by February, a different number from what the president is projecting.

“It’s going to disappear," President Donald Trump said Saturday. "It is disappearing and vaccines are going to help and the therapeutics.”

“That is false. We have no proven miracle cure,” Ranney said. "There are some treatments. Regeneron may be one of them but we don’t have enough data yet.”

Both doctors agree that until there is enough data, the course of the virus is up to us.

“The only thing we have right now is prevention," Ranney said.

“The only thing that will prevent the next wave is us," said Birx.

Birx added that people are starting to let their guard down with people they know without taking into account they could be asymptomatic.

About the Authors:

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.