Detroit, MI

No New Cases: Ascension St. John Detroit Reports Zero Cases Tuesday, a First Since Pandemic Began

Joseph Serwach

The numbers at one Detroit hospital were a barometer: cases peaked at 75% of beds, now down to zero

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Ascension St. John Detroit has been a barometer for the pandemic. Tuesday was the first time it had zero cases since the Pandemic began.Photo by Joseph Serwach.

DETROIT — St. John Ascension Detroit Hospital Tuesday reported a first for the pandemic: zero COVID-19 patients, a first since the outbreak began.

The east side Detroit hospital where Blessed Solanus Casey died in 1957 has been a bellwether of activity throughout the pandemic, hitting its all-time peak April 6, 2020, when 295 of the 444 beds were dedicated to COVID-19 cases.

“As of 10 a.m. inpatient census: 444 with NO patients in isolation for COVID related illness,” the hospital reported. “We made it!!”

All-time peak hit in April 2020 - Peak for 2021 also hit in April

The second surge came in fall 2020. Finally, in mid-April 2021, the hospital hit its 2021 high: 101 patients, eight on ventilators. The 2021 peak hit this April was just a third the size of the April 2020 wave: April 14, 2020, was notorious for a record 72 COVID-19 patients requiring ventilators versus eight one year later.

The Detroit hospital has been a bellwether for cases throughout the pandemic, rising and falling with each wave, peaking in the chilliest months of early spring, dropping with warmer temperatures.

Effective Tuesday, state officials said they would only report cases twice per week instead of the nearly daily pace they’ve followed since March 2020

Statewide, the Michigan Department of Health reported zero new deaths and 101 new cases on Friday, bringing the seven-day average to 144 cases, the lowest levels since March 2020.

Michigan was recording roughly 7,000 new cases and 150 deaths per day at the peak of the pandemic. Since the pandemic began, Michigan has had a total of 894,957 cases and 19,754 deaths.

More than 62 percent of Michigan residents 16 or older have received at least one dose of the vaccine. But the state remains short of its goal of hitting 70 percent.

All Michigan residents who are vaccinated eligible for lottery

Last week, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the “MI Shot to Win Sweepstakes,” where more than $5 million in federal COVID-19 funds will be paid out in a “vaccine lottery” to encourage residents to receive vaccinations.

A $1 million drawing, $50,000 daily drawings, and a $2 million drawing are only open to Michigan residents 18 years or older who have been vaccinated between December 1, 2020, and the end of July 2021.

The state is also offering nine scholarship drawing prizes for vaccinated Michiganders between ages 12–17 whose parents enter on their behalf. Details are available at www.MIShotToWin.com.

“The reason behind the sweepstakes is simple,” Whitmer said. “We want to keep Michiganders safe.”

Detroit continues to have one of Michigan’s lowest vaccination rates, with just 38 percent of residents receiving at least one dose.

The highly infectious Delta variant of the virus accounts for 20 percent of recent coronavirus cases, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said last week, as the greatest growth in cases centers in the Grand Rapids, Detroit, Kalamazoo, Saginaw, and Lansing areas.

Michigan had some of the strictest restrictions and some of the largest case numbers. On June 22, Whitmer lifted her “broad mask and gathering epidemic order. As a result, capacity limits are now 100% both outside and inside, and residents are no longer required to wear a face mask.”

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and the nearest vaccination site, Michigan residents can visit www.michigan.gov/covidvaccine or www.vaccinefinder.org.

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