Michigan's seven-day average of daily new coronavirus cases has fallen by more than 1,200 in a week, a sign that the outbreak may be subsiding in a state where infection and hospitalization rates remain highest in the country.
The state health department on Wednesday reported nearly 5,600 cases and 45 deaths in the most recent 24-hour period. That brought the seven-day case average to 5,742 — down from the third surge's peak of around 7,000 on April 13.
The seven-day average of tests coming back positive, 13.4%, was down from 15.5% a week before.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said earlier this week that the “numbers are far too high," but they appeared to be slowing and death rates are lower than in the last two waves. She has not tightened COVID-19 restrictions but has asked for a voluntary two-week pause on in-person high school instruction, indoor restaurant dining and youth sports to help curb the outbreak.
About 46% of residents ages 16 and older have gotten at least one vaccine dose, including 31% who are fully vaccinated.
The surge has led some school districts to return to remote classes for older students. Others, such as Ann Arbor, have delayed a return from a 13-month closure for fourth graders and above. Lansing's district on Wednesday said all classes will remain online through the end of the academic year. Kids there have been virtual since March 2020.
“We must do this in order to keep our staff, students and their families safe," superintendent Sam Sinicropi said in a statement. “It is our goal to open and implement a rigorous eight-week summer program.”
In Michigan, more than 18,100 people have died with confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases. Nearly 900,000 confirmed or probable infections have been reported.