More than 11,000 in Michigan have died after contracting COVID-19


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan has now seen more than 11,000 deaths linked to the coronavirus.

The state on Wednesday announced 83 more deaths associated with the virus, bringing the total to 11,018.

Michigan’s death toll surpassed 10,000 only eight days ago.

The state on Wednesday also announced 4,037 more cases of the virus had been confirmed, bringing the total to 446,752 since the virus was first detected in Michigan in March.

On Tuesday, labs in Michigan tested 53,891 samples for the virus and 5,443 were positive, a rate of 10.1%. 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.

Though the data for metrics that demonstrate the severity of the outbreak remain high, they are improving and public health officials say the state appears to have avoided a post-Thanksgiving surge in cases.

“That means many Michiganders did their part in keeping spread of the virus down over the Thanksgiving holiday,” the state’s chief medical executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said during a Tuesday press conference alongside the governor in Lansing. “We showed that we care about ourselves, our families and our community. Let’s keep doing that.”

She and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer urged people not to travel or gather for the December holidays to keep things moving in the right direction.

The average rate of cases per million people per day is still well above the spring peak — “alarmingly high,” according to Khaldun — it is getting better and has been declining for more than three weeks. The rate of positive tests each day has been trending down for a week but the seven-day average remains nearly four times higher than the 3% threshold that public health officials say shows community spread is controlled.

As of Tuesday, Michigan hospitals were treating 3,648 adult inpatients suspected or confirmed to have the virus. As of Wednesday, Grand Rapids-based Spectrum Health said it had 249 COVID-19 inpatients across its hospital system. The numbers have been declining both statewide and within Spectrum for about two weeks.

The number of deaths each day is still high, with a seven-day average above 90. Daily deaths is a lagging metric that improves after case counts and hospitalizations.

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