What's leading Michigan's COVID-19 case rates to highest in the nation?

Almost 3 million Michigan residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and more than 4.7 million doses have been administered. But as vaccinations rise, so do COVID-19 infections and the state now has the highest case rate in the country.

Michigan is leading the nation in covid cases by population. Right now, about 453 people out of 100,000 have COVID in our state. New Jersey is second with 352 per 100,000 MDHHS Senior Public Health Physician Natasha Bagdasarian said the state is encountering its third wave and it's similar to what happened in November and December.

"Things are not looking good in terms of our current COVID status," she said. "It very much is like our peak that we saw in the fall."

Dr. Bagdasarian said the wave started spreading among teens and adolescents between 10 and 19 years old. But now it's hitting 30, 40, and 50-year-olds hard. Overall, they’re seeing more of those age groups filling hospitals. 

"More elderly groups have been somewhat spared this wave and that's because of the vaccine. It shows that the vaccines is really, really effective," she said.

The state has 1,500 B.117 variant cases and a handful of other variants. Dr. Bagdasarian said the more variants, the harder it is to control the spread.

"What we're concerned about is, while some variants are already here, we don't want additional introduction of those variants," she said.


The medical community is bracing for a post-spring break surge, specifically people coming home from Florida. Travel agent David Fisherman says he’s swamped with requests to the Sunshine State.

"The videos down in Florida - it was like like spring break gone wild," said Fisherman. "The phone is ringing off the hook. The pent-up demand is huge. People want to go."

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Fishman and the doc both say it’s the cavalier vacation mindset that’s contributing. 

"Taking greater risks while you’re traveling and while you're outside of your community. Will you be eating out in restaurants while you're traveling, will you be going to big gatherings while you’re on vacation?" said Dr. Bagdsarian.

If you're one of the millions with the vaccine, you're urged to wait two weeks after your second vaccine dose to travel.

Statewide there's another trend that state health experts are monitoring and that’s the hesitancy to get tested. They’re saying if you’re ill, have traveled or been exposed to COVID-19, get a test. 

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