Coronavirus cases keep climbing: 8,500 more in Michigan

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan set yet another record Friday for newly confirmed coronavirus cases announced in a single day with 8,516 added.

The state also recorded 118 more deaths linked to the virus, 83 of which were discovered during a review of death certificates to find any that had not previously been reported to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

In all, Michigan has now had 244,741 confirmed coronavirus cases since it was first detected in Michigan in March and 7,929 deaths have been linked to it.

On Thursday, labs in Michigan tested 72,578 samples for the virus and 9,896 came back positive, a rate of 13.36%.

Wayne County, which was the state’s initial hot spot for the virus but which is no longer seeing the worst rates of spread, confirmed 826 more cases for a total of 45,711 since the start of the outbreak. It added six more deaths for a total of 2,944. Neighboring Oakland County has had 28,712 confirmed cases (745 more than the previous day) and 1,222 deaths (15 more). Macomb County has had 24,934 cases (686 more) and 1,104 deaths (21 more).

Kent County alone had 803 more confirmed cases, bringing its total since March to 21,674, and recorded 12 more related deaths for a total of 239.

Several West Michigan counties recorded additional deaths:

  • Allegan County: Four more deaths for 13 total; 2,273 total cases since the start of the outbreak eight months ago.
  • Barry County: One more death for 10 total; 1,204 total cases.
  • Berrien County: One more death for 96 total; 3,896 total cases.
  • Branch County: One more death for seven total; 1,309 total cases.
  • Kalamazoo County: Four more deaths for 134 total; 5,955 total cases.
  • Muskegon County: One more death for 110 total; 4,484 total cases.
  • Newaygo County: One more death for eight total; 1,026 total cases.
  • Ottawa County: One more death for 89 total; 8,722 total cases.
  • St. Joseph County: One more death for 26 total; 1,739 total cases.
  • Van Buren County: Two more deaths for 23 total; 1,723 total cases.

The number of deaths in Calhoun County was revised down by three to 92. This has not been uncommon as cases are double-checked and sometimes moved between jurisdictions. Calhoun County has had 4,101 confirmed cases of the virus.

Rockford Public Schools announced Friday that ninth through 12th graders would shift to virtual learning starting Nov. 17 through Nov. 24. They should report to school Monday to prepare for the transition.

Everyone grades eight and younger will continue with in-person learning.

The district cited COVID-19 spread in the community and specifically among high schoolers, noting those older students may be more likely than younger kids to exposed because of jobs, activities outside of school and a more independent lifestyle.

Cases are on the rise in West Michigan, which is seeing the highest rate of new cases per million people per day of any region in the state, and across the state. During a Thursday press conference in Lansing, Michigan’s chief medical executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, said “Things are looking very grim with COVID-19 in our state right now.”

“This virus is out of control,” she continued. “There is wide community spread of COVID-19 across the state.”

The seven-day average of the statewide daily positive test percentage has surpassed 12%, four times higher than the 3% public health officials say shows community spread is controlled.

As the case count climbs, so has the number of people hospitalized. As of Friday, 3,220 adult inpatients at Michigan hospitals were suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19. The seven-day average of daily deaths is now 35, seven times higher than it was in June.

Citing increased strain on the state’s hospital systems, Khaldun and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, as well as Michigan hospital leaders in a separate press conference, pleaded with Michigan residents to follow basic health safety practices to slow the spread of the virus: Wash your hands frequently, practice 6-foot social distancing, avoid social gatherings and wear a mask whenever you’re in public.

“I know people are tired of living like this, but we really have to double down,” Khaldun said. “We are potentially looking at some of the deadliest, most grim days of this entire pandemic ahead of us if we do not collectively change our behaviors.”

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