80 coronavirus deaths brings total to 417 in Michigan


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Another 80 people died of coronavirus in Michigan Wednesday, again the largest one-day increase in deaths, bringing the total to 417.

The results of Wednesday’s tests for coronavirus, which were released Thursday, confirmed an additional 1,457 cases for a total of 10,791.

The majority of both deaths and confirmed cases is still in metro Detroit. Wayne County, including the city of Detroit, has 5,069 cases 194 deaths; Oakland County has 2,183 cases and 119 deaths; and Macomb County has 1,332 cases and 58 deaths. Washtenaw County has confirmed 438 cases and seen eight deaths; Genesee County has confirmed 349 deaths and 10 cases.

Twenty-four of the new cases were within the Michigan Department of Corrections, which now has a total of 166 cases. No prisoners have died of the virus.

According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, Michigan has the third highest number of confirmed cases in the country, behind New York and New Jersey. New York and New Jersey are also the only states that have recorded more deaths linked to the virus.

The state does not have a figure for how many people have recovered from coronavirus. Many of the people who test positive aren’t hospitalized, making it hard for the state to determine how many of them are better.

COVID-19 presents with a fever, cough and shortness of breath. For most who contract it, symptoms are mild. The people most at risk to develop severe complications are the elderly and those with preexisting health problems. If you think you have coronavirus, call your health care provider. Unless you are in need of emergency help, do not go to the emergency room. Get advice from a doctor over the phone or a televisit and they will direct you on how to get tested.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered Michigan residents to stay at home unless they must leave to go grocery shopping or unless they are an essential service worker. On Thursday, she ordered K-12 schools to stay closed for the remainder of the year.

The goal of the social distancing is to keep the number of severe cases low enough that hospitals will be able to keep up. In places like Italy, Spain and New York City, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, hospital systems have been stretched past their limits. State officials say Detroit hospitals are at or nearing capacity.

You should also keep following common-sense health practices, like washing your hands frequently for 20 seconds with soap and warm water, coughing into your arm or a tissue rather than your hands and avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands.

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