Michigan is showing some real progress in what's been an uphill battle against a new surge of COVID-19 cases.
The state's positivity rate is on the decline and hospitalizations are also down. Latest numbers from the CDC show the 7-day average for new cases has dropped by 12.5%.
It comes as the state passed 800,000 total cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, with the death toll now around 17,000 since the pandemic started.
Variants remain a huge concern, even as the vaccine rollout continues. Wednesday also marked the first time in nine days the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 dropped below 4,000.
As of now, 23 hospitals in the state are at 90% capacity or more for COVID-19 patients, down from 35 hospitals on Monday.
“The UK variant is still playing a big role," Beaumont Internal Medicine Physician Dr. Justin Skrzynski said.
Statewide, there are now 4,728 confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7. variant, believed to be more contagious and more lethal. Outbreaks are largely in southeast Michigan and in the state's prison system.
“We are dealing with something that can skip person to person much more quickly," Skrzynski said. "That definitely is contributing to the big explosion in numbers that we’ve had in the past few weeks.”
The state's 7-day average for new cases is down to 483 per 100,000 people, a 12.5% drop since last week. The positivity rate from tests is also down to 13.4%. It was 15.5% last week.
Nationally there is also cause for optimism as the country surpassed 200 million shots, double President Joe Biden's goal for his first 100 days in office.
“As of this past Sunday, more than 50% of adult Americans have had at least one vaccine shot. We still have a long way to go, but that’s an important marker of progress," Biden said.
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