These Are Michigan's COVID Hotspots As State Suffers Country's Worst Surge

Michigan is currently experiencing the highest rate of new COVID cases of all U.S. states, prompting the federal government to send in help.

The state is currently experiencing around 8,500 cases per day and 85 cases per 100,000 people. Minnesota, the state with the next-highest case rate, is seeing 76 cases per 100,000 people, according to data collected by The New York Times.

On Wednesday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced that 44 medical personnel were to be sent to the state to support staff at two hospitals following a request for assistance by governor Gretchen Whitmer.

The teams, which include nurses, doctors, and respiratory therapists, will arrive next week and help to support local medics for around a month.

"Hospitals are at capacity across the state, particularly in Metro Detroit and West Michigan, and this is taking a tremendous toll on our health care workers," said Elizabeth Hertel, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director, in a press release on Wednesday.

Meanwhile Whitmer said that "the vast majority" of COVID patients being cared for in the state were either unvaccinated or had not yet had a booster dose, citing doctors and nurses.

She added: "We can all do our part to help reduce the strain on our hospital systems by getting vaccinated, making an appointment to get a booster dose, and continuing to take precautions to keep ourselves and loved ones safe."

Within Michigan, the five counties currently experiencing the highest case rates per 100,000 people over the past seven days are Keweenaw with 1,134, Shiawassee with 949, Mason with 943, Jackson with 871, and Houghton with 818, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data as of Wednesday, November 24.

In total, Michigan has reported 1,447,230 cases of COVID with 25,244 deaths, according to state data on November 24.

Between October 7th and November 5th, 73 percent of cases, 72 percent of hospitalizations and 76 percent of deaths were among people who were not fully vaccinated, a statement from the Michigan health department said on Wednesday.

Michigan's rise in cases comes as the U.S. as a whole experiences an increasing number of daily COVID infections as the Christmas season approaches.

CDC data shows that the seven-day moving average of new cases was 94,266 on November 23, up from 85,927 seven days prior.

Michigan sign
A Michigan road sign near Ambassador Bridge that connects the state to Canada, pictured November 8 2021. Michigan has requested federal assistance to help it cope with COVID cases. Nic Antaya/Getty