Michigan COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations increase, projections show potential for winter surge if new variant emerges


Soraya Marashi


With 12 Michigan counties now considered to have high COVID-19 community levels, according to the CDC as of July 28th, the virus continues to spread throughout the state despite hospitalizations remaining lower than in previous surges. 


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Data from the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) shows that 14% of counties are currently at a high COVID-19 community level, which represents an increase from last week. The 12 counties classified as high include the three most populous counties in the state (Oakland, Wayne, and Macomb), and represent about 48% of the state population. The 28 counties (34%) currently classified as medium represent about 15% of the population.

Test positivity in the state has also increased from 19.1% last week to 19.5% currently. The daily cases per million also increased from 175.9 last week to 199.5 currently, and the daily hospitalization rate increased from 4.6% last week to 4.8% currently.

However, hospital admissions due to COVID-19 still remain lower than previous surges. The graph below shows hospital admissions per age group between January 2021 and July 2022.



According to MDHHS data, almost all age groups reported an increase in hospital admissions this week compared to last week, and the 60-69, 70-79, and 80+ age groups are all reporting 25-40 daily hospital admissions. Through Aug. 1st, there were 142.9 average daily hospital admissions due to COVID-19.



The volume of COVID-19 patients in ICUs across the state have also increased by 24% compared to last week. The graph below shows the trend of confirmed COVID-19 patients in state ICUs between July 2021 and August 2022.



MDHHS projections are currently suggesting a plateau through the winter if no new immune escape variant emerges, but if a new variant does emerge, projections are suggesting the potential for a winter surge.