How Michigan’s current COVID surge compares to the winter surge

More hospitalizations, more deaths

Inside Michigan's COVID-19 data
Inside Michigan's COVID-19 data

The state of Michigan did not offer a briefing this week on its latest COVID-19 data, but Local 4′s Dr. Frank McGeorge dug through the latest numbers to see what they reveal about where we are and where we might be heading.

April 22, 2021: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 809,591; Death toll now at 17,139

The reported daily new cases and deaths have been decreasing over the past few days, but the latest COVID data update from the state Thursday confirmed what everyone on the frontline can feel: COVID-related hospitalizations are still a serious issue.

As of April 19, there were 4,211 people in Michigan hospitals for coronavirus. That’s the highest number of patients since April 2020.

Metro Detroit continues to have the highest number of hospitalizations, The only good news is that the area -- including Oakland, Macomb and St. Clair counties -- has not seen an increase in hospitalizations.

As of April 19, there were 895 people in Michigan ICUs with COVID -- well above the peak of 814, during the winter surge. In fact, comparing where we are now to the winter surge, Metro Detroit has nearly 30% more hospitalizations than it did in winter.

An increase in deaths always lags a couple of weeks behind hospitalization increases and the most recent data shows deaths are up 25% since last week.

Variants remain a serious concern across the state. We have all four of the variants of concern -- the UK variant, the South African variant, the Brazilian variant and the two California variants.

There is some good news. Statewide the percent positivity has decreased to 16.4%. It’s still unacceptably high but hopefully it indicates a plateau or even decrease in new cases in the future

The spring surge has been much harder on ERs than the winter and the data confirms it. During the peak of the winter surge, just over 8% of ER visits were for COVID symptoms. It’s currently more than 10%.

Data shows that last week there was a drop in the number of people vaccinated compared to the peak two weeks ago. That’s concerning because we need everyone to step up and get one of the vaccines especially now that they are so universally available.


About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.

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.