Over the weekend Macomb County reached a grim milestone as the death toll from the Covid-19 pandemic surpassed 2,000 deaths.
The surge in Covid cases that made Michigan the nation’s hot spot for the virus in recent weeks has had a major impact in Macomb.
After a temporary delay in Covid statistics on Friday, the county website reported on Saturday that the count had reached 2,002 dead. The latest figures also show that the infection rate reflected by testing for the virus stands at 22.2 percent, the highest level the county has experienced in a year.
As the Covid vaccine has been widely administered to seniors, Macomb has also witnessed a dramatic upward shift in cases of the virus among younger people, including children.
The numbers started coming down last week but for much of April the county saw 200-400 cases per day in the 20-29 age category. In the newborn to 19 years old range, new cases have hovered between 100 and 200 daily. Michigan has the nation’s eight-highest case count in kids, largely due to the wide spread of the UK variant – a much more infectious strain of Covid-19 – across the state.
The Macomb communities with the highest death tolls are Warren (420), Sterling Heights (362), Clinton Township (286), St. Clair Shores (141), Shelby Township (109) and Macomb Township (95).
Macomb’s death count is far higher than almost all of the state’s 82 other counties. Oakland and Wayne counties are the only others above the 2,000 mark and outside of the tri-county area only three counties are above 400 deaths. Based on population, the hardest hit section of the state is the Thumb Area that stretches north of Macomb.
The Macomb County Health Department reports only confirmed fatal cases of Covid in its death count. State health officials include probable Covid deaths, which encompasses deaths of patients suffering from Covid where a cause of death was not determined. The state Department of Health and Human Services puts Macomb’s confirmed and probable Covid deaths at 2,155.