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Morning Briefing March 18, 2021: Michigan has highest COVID infection rate, second-highest virus variant case count in US, data shows

Here are this morning’s top stories

Registered nurse Sandra Younan wears a new pair of gloves at the emergency room of Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center in the Tarzana neighborhood of Los Angeles on Thursday, March 11, 2021. Younan spent the last year juggling long hours as she watched many patients struggle with the coronavirus and some die. Then there were the patients who claimed the virus was fake or coughed in her face, ignoring mask rules. One man stormed out of the hospital after a positive COVID-19 test, refusing to believe it was accurate. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Registered nurse Sandra Younan wears a new pair of gloves at the emergency room of Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center in the Tarzana neighborhood of Los Angeles on Thursday, March 11, 2021. Younan spent the last year juggling long hours as she watched many patients struggle with the coronavirus and some die. Then there were the patients who claimed the virus was fake or coughed in her face, ignoring mask rules. One man stormed out of the hospital after a positive COVID-19 test, refusing to believe it was accurate. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Michigan has highest COVID infection rate in US, data shows

Michigan’s coronavirus infection rate is currently the worst in the country, according to recent data.

Coronavirus spread has begun to slow in much of the U.S. following a “third wave” of the virus. COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations surged again in November of 2020 and remained consistently high through the first of the year. Now, data from research group Covid Act Now shows that many states are in far better condition as of March 2021, including Michigan.

But some of Michigan’s virus metrics are still not in great shape, especially as the state is seeing a small spike in virus spread mid-March.

See more of the data here.


Michigan has second-highest number of COVID variant cases in US

Multiple variants of the COVID-19 virus are spreading throughout the United States. There is growing concern that they are not only more transmissible but might be able to evade the vaccines.

So far, two of the more concerning variants have been found in Michigan.

According to the CDC, the largest number of variant cases have been detected in Michigan and Florida. According to the MDHHS, the greatest numbers of the U.K. variant B117 have been found in the more densely populated areas.

See the full report here.


Watch live at 10:30 a.m. today: Michigan Gov. Whitmer discusses COVID-19 vaccinations from Ford Field


In 9 minute video, Matthew Stafford says thank you to Detroit

In a video posted by the Detroit Lions on Wednesday night, the team’s former franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford, who was officially traded to the Rams this week, says thank you to the city.

Watch the video here.


US-Canada border travel restrictions extended through April 21, 2021

Travel restrictions across the U.S.-Canada border will remain in place at least through April 21, 2021, officials announced Thursday.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the border will remain closed to non-essential travelers through the new April date to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The restrictions in place prior to Thursday were slated to end on March 21.

Learn more here.


Asian Americans grieve, organize in wake of Atlanta attacks

Asian Americans were already worn down by a year of pandemic-fueled racist attacks when a white gunman was charged with killing eight people, most of them Asian women, at three Atlanta-area massage parlors.

Hundreds of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders turned to social media to air their anger, sadness, fear and hopelessness. The hashtag #StopAsianHate was a top trending topic on Twitter hours after the shootings that happened Tuesday evening.

See the full story here.


Weather: Windy Thursday with light rain

Here is the weather forecast for Metro Detroit.
Here is the weather forecast for Metro Detroit.

Coronavirus in Michigan 💉

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 615,792 as of Wednesday, including 15,810 deaths, state officials report.

Wednesday’s update includes a total of 3,164 new cases and no additional deaths. This is the highest single-day case total since Jan. 8. It’s also the first day without a death reported since Aug. 7, 2020.

On Tuesday, the state reported 612,628 total cases and 15,810 deaths.

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 two weeks.

Michigan’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 2,073 on Wednesday-- the highest it’s been since mid-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.

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

Michigan has reported more than 3.2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered, as of Wednesday.

According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 29.6 million cases have been reported in the U.S., with more than 538,000 deaths reported from the virus.

Here’s a look at more of the data:


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