Michigan reportedly has the second-highest coronavirus case rate per capita in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The news comes “as the Michigan Health and Hospital Association sounded alarms Wednesday that the state’s hospitals are filling up with COVID-19 patients — marking a 633% rise in hospitalizations since March 1 among people ages 30-39 and an 800% increase among those 40-49 years old,” the Detroit Free Press reported.
As of Thursday morning, the CDC’s website said Michigan recorded 701,378 overall cases and 24,884 cases in the last seven days.
“Health officials suspect the growing case rates are driven by more transmissible strains of the virus, including B.1.1.7, or the United Kingdom variant, as well as outbreaks tied to schools and among student athletes,” the Press article stated.
In addition, Michigan reportedly has eight of the 20 counties recording the highest per capita virus case numbers over the past week.
“The eight counties on the list and their national ranking: Huron (No. 6), Otsego (No. 7), Wexford (8), Sanilac (10), St. Clair (11), Missaukee (13), Jackson (17), Roscommon (19),” according to MLive.com.
The outlet added Michigan ranks second, after New Jersey, regarding the seven-day average of per capita case counts.
The Press report continued:
Michigan now has 988 known cases of the B.1.1.7 variant — the most of any state except Florida. This strain of the virus not only spreads about 50% more easily, but scientists also are investigating whether it also leads to more severe illness, hospitalizations and deaths.
In addition, health officials said Wednesday that the state also has confirmed two cases of the B.1.351 strain that originated in South Africa, and one case in Oakland County of the B.1.429 variant of concern that originated in California, which also are more transmissible.
“Hospital bed occupancy for COVID-19 patients statewide was at 72% on Monday, according to state health department data. Thirteen hospitals reported they were at capacity of 90% or more,” the article said.
Meanwhile, coronavirus infections reportedly rose over the past week in 19 states but remained stable across the nation, according to Axios.
“19 states saw their average daily cases increase over the past week, and 14 states saw their numbers fall. The biggest improvements were in Arizona and Nevada, both of which saw new cases drop by about 45%,” the outlet concluded.