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COVID-19 case counts explode to new highs in Michigan

December 29, 2021 GMT
FILE - Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses business leaders, Monday, Dec. 20, 2021, in Detroit. Michigan developers with "transformational" plans to redevelop brownfield sites can continue to seek tax incentives after Gov. Whitmer and the Legislature extended the program for an additional five years, through 2027, instead of 2022. The state in 2018 awarded Bedrock, a commercial real estate firm owned by Dan Gilbert, $386 million of the tax breaks for a multibillion-dollar development project in Detroit that includes a 58-story building on the site of the iconic former J.L. Hudson department store. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
FILE - Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses business leaders, Monday, Dec. 20, 2021, in Detroit. Michigan developers with "transformational" plans to redevelop brownfield sites can continue to seek tax incentives after Gov. Whitmer and the Legislature extended the program for an additional five years, through 2027, instead of 2022. The state in 2018 awarded Bedrock, a commercial real estate firm owned by Dan Gilbert, $386 million of the tax breaks for a multibillion-dollar development project in Detroit that includes a 58-story building on the site of the iconic former J.L. Hudson department store. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
FILE - Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses business leaders, Monday, Dec. 20, 2021, in Detroit. Michigan developers with "transformational" plans to redevelop brownfield sites can continue to seek tax incentives after Gov. Whitmer and the Legislature extended the program for an additional five years, through 2027, instead of 2022. The state in 2018 awarded Bedrock, a commercial real estate firm owned by Dan Gilbert, $386 million of the tax breaks for a multibillion-dollar development project in Detroit that includes a 58-story building on the site of the iconic former J.L. Hudson department store. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
FILE - Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses business leaders, Monday, Dec. 20, 2021, in Detroit. Michigan developers with "transformational" plans to redevelop brownfield sites can continue to seek tax incentives after Gov. Whitmer and the Legislature extended the program for an additional five years, through 2027, instead of 2022. The state in 2018 awarded Bedrock, a commercial real estate firm owned by Dan Gilbert, $386 million of the tax breaks for a multibillion-dollar development project in Detroit that includes a 58-story building on the site of the iconic former J.L. Hudson department store. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
FILE - Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses business leaders, Monday, Dec. 20, 2021, in Detroit. Michigan developers with "transformational" plans to redevelop brownfield sites can continue to seek tax incentives after Gov. Whitmer and the Legislature extended the program for an additional five years, through 2027, instead of 2022. The state in 2018 awarded Bedrock, a commercial real estate firm owned by Dan Gilbert, $386 million of the tax breaks for a multibillion-dollar development project in Detroit that includes a 58-story building on the site of the iconic former J.L. Hudson department store. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan on Wednesday recorded COVID-19 case counts that shattered a previous high, reporting nearly 13,000 a day — almost a third more than the peak set over a year ago.

The two-day average was 12,929, some 3,100 infections above the nearly 9,800 from a single day in November 2020. The explosive growth came as the state already grapples with a fourth, monthslong surge in which coronavirus hospitalizations, while lower from recent record peaks, remain high. The death toll surpassed 29,000 and continues to mount, averaging over 100 per day, like a year ago when vaccines were first being made available.

New cases of COVID-19 also have soared nationally, to their highest level on record, at 265,000 a day amid the arrival of the highly contagious omicron variant.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said last week that Michigan was in for a “tough” four to six weeks. She urged people to get vaccinated and, if eligible, a booster shot. Those who plan on traveling for the holidays or attending an indoor gathering should get tested before and stay home if they are sick, she said.

On Thursday, a fourth military medical team deployed to Michigan will begin treating patients at Mercy Health’s hospital in Muskegon.

Case rates this past week were highest among 30- to 39-year-olds, the state health department said in a report.

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