Michigan reports about 2,700 more coronavirus cases


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan has confirmed about 2,700 more cases of coronavirus and reported 139 more deaths linked to the virus.

Of the 139 deaths announced Thursday, 107 were discovered as public health officials checked death certificates to find any that had not been reported to the state. In all, 13,672 people in Michigan have died after contracting COVID-19.

The 2,698 additional confirmed cases announced Thursday bring the state’s total to 531,004 since the virus was first detected in Michigan 10 months ago.

On Wednesday, labs in Michigan tested 48,872 samples for the virus and 3,057 were positive, a rate of 6.26% — the lowest it has been since Oct. 24.

The number of positive tests is not the same as the number of new cases because people may be tested more than once. Additionally, testing numbers are from a single calendar date, while the number of new cases lists the increase since the last time the state compiled the data; these two time frames do not match up precisely.

Kent County recorded an additional eight deaths linked to the virus, bringing its total to 556. It also confirmed 181 more cases for a total of 44,320 since the start of the outbreak.

Several other West Michigan also recorded more deaths:

  • Allegan County: Two more deaths for 74 total; 5,811 total confirmed cases since the start of the epidemic.
  • Calhoun County: One more death for 191 total; 7,340 total cases.
  • Cass County: Two more deaths for 51 total; 3,208 total cases.
  • Ionia County: One more death for 55 total; 3,691 total cases.
  • Kalamazoo County: Two more deaths for 243 total; 11,888 total cases.
  • Mecosta County: One more death for 15 total; 1,697 total cases.
  • Muskegon County: One more death for 272 total; 9,751 total cases.
  • Oceana County: One more death for 43 total; 1,665 total cases.
  • Ottawa County: Three more deaths for 278 total; 18,947 total cases.
  • Van Buren County: Two more deaths for 80 total; 4,239 total cases.

Wayne County, home to Detroit, recorded 21 more deaths and confirmed 334 more cases. It has now had a total of 3,630 deaths and 85,925 cases. Neighboring Oakland County has had 58,602 confirmed cases (286 more than the previous day) and 1,695 deaths (21 more). Macomb County, also in southeast Michigan, has had 50,610 cases (196 more) and 1,659 deaths (17 more).

While the state’s case rate had been on the decline for more than a month, it rebounded following the December holidays and now appears to be on a statistical plateau. The number of deaths each day, meanwhile, has been on a fairly steady decline since early December and continues to fall.

The percentage of daily positive tests dropped leading up Christmas, rose again afterward and has been trending down again this week. Regardless, the seven-day average of the rate is still above 9% — more than three times the 3% threshold public health officials look for to show community spread is controlled.

“While I’m concerned about the slight uptick in cases after the holidays, we are not seeing the surge in hospitalizations that we saw in the beginning of November,” Michigan’s chief medical executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said during a Wednesday press conference.

While hospitalizations are still trending down, Khaldun noted the decline was slowing.

While state health officials are still eyeing the data, they were comfortable enough Wednesday to announce that some more restrictions — specifically for indoor exercise — would be loosened. They added that they have set a tentative date of Feb. 1 for restaurant dining rooms to reopen, but warned that was conditional on the trajectory of the epidemic.

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