Michigan sees rising COVID infections as cases drop nationwide

Experts cautiously optimistic that worst of delta surge will soon be over

Michigan is one of a handful of states that is experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases, while most of the country has seen a decline in new infections.

Much of the United States is seeing a promising decline in COVID-19 cases, but Michigan is not one of them.

Across the nation, the number of new COVID infections and hospitalizations has been decreasing. Leading with cautious optimism, some experts are predicting that the worst of COVID’s delta variant surge may be over.

Former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb says he believes the “delta wave” will have moved through the country by Thanksgiving this year -- especially if a vaccine is authorized for children, and if drugmaker Merck’s anti-COVID pill is soon authorized.

Read more: Merck asks US FDA to authorize promising anti-COVID pill

According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. is averaging about 96,000 new COVID cases each day -- a 44% drop from mid-September. Most experts say, however, that despite the decline, the number of daily new virus cases is still high.

“We have to just be careful that we don’t prematurely declare victory,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top epidemiologist. “We still have around 68 million people who are eligible to be vaccinated that have not yet gotten vaccinated.”

As of last Friday, COVID hospitalizations have dropped nationwide by about 35% since September. But some parts of the country are still struggling with coronavirus spread.

The Great Lakes State is among a handful of states that have actually seen a rise in COVID infections over the last week. A doctor from West Michigan says that his hospital still remains overwhelmed with COVID patients.

“I had six, seven people sitting in the emergency department waiting for beds at other hospitals that didn’t exist; waiting for ambulances that were six, seven hours away from being able to bring them to those places,“ said Dr. Rob Davidson, an emergency room physician.

COVID cases began rising in Michigan again throughout July and August, reaching an average of more than 2,000 daily new cases throughout most of September. Daily new COVID cases have surpassed 4,000 per day in recent weeks, with the latest report recording 4,205 new cases on Friday, Oct. 8.

The seven-day moving average of daily new cases was 3,541 as of Friday. COVID hospitalizations have been steadily increasing in Michigan since August.

See the full report in the video above. See more Michigan COVID data right here.

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About the Authors:

Nick joined the Local 4 team in February of 2015. Prior to that he spent 6 years in Sacramento covering a long list of big stories including wildfires and earthquakes. Raised in Sterling Heights, he is no stranger to the deep history and pride Detroit has to offer.

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.