GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan has confirmed 722 more cases of coronavirus and added 26 related deaths to its tally.
Seventeen of those deaths were identified in a review of death certificates to find any that had not been reported to the state. Those checks have been happening routinely each week for months.
On Wednesday, labs in Michigan tested 26,196 samples for the virus and 820 came back positive. The number of positive tests is higher than the number of new confirmed cases because some people may be tested more than once, but the state says its reporting system is set up to ensure a single person cannot account for more than one case. The percentage of positive tests was 3.13%.
Three of the newly recorded deaths were in Kent County, which has now seen 154 dead. An additional 47 cases were confirmed for a total of 6,720 since the outbreak began.
Wayne County, hit hardest by the virus, added nine deaths to its tally for 2,691 total. It confirmed 133 more cases, bringing its total to 26,209 in the last five months. Also in southeast Michigan, Oakland County has had 11,913 cases (144 more than the day previous) and 1,087 deaths (two more). Macomb County has had 9,679 cases (109 more) and 905 deaths (five more).
Only one more case was identified within the Michigan Department of Corrections, bringing its total to 4,319 since the start of the outbreak. The Muskegon Correctional Facility is currently dealing with an outbreak of 155 cases, at least two of which are among staff members. Earlier this week, it tested every inmate in the facility and is awaiting results.
BARRY COUNTY EXPOSURE SITE
The Barry-Eaton District Health Department has also put out a warning about an outbreak at Camp Michawana in Hope Township, outside of Hastings. Five staff members and one camper have tested positive for the virus as of Thursday, health officials say. An additional person is considered a probable case.
Exposure is believed to have happened on or after July 24 and could have affected as many as 250 people. About 180 of them were campers under the age of 18 who were attending sleep-away camp. Another 70 were attending family camps or were staff members.
Anyone who was at the camp is advised to isolate for two weeks from the last day they were there and watch for symptoms to develop.
In all, Barry County has had 147 confirmed cases since the start of the outbreak and recorded two related deaths.
MASKS AT CHILD CARE CENTERS
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday signed an executive order requiring masks to be worn at child care centers and camps. The order will mandates:
- Staff and children ages 2 and up to wear masks on buses;
- Staff and children 4 and older to wear masks in indoor common spaces;
- Staff and children 12 and older to wear masks in classrooms, homes, cabins and indoor small-group settings.
Whimter’s office said in a release that the order aligns camps and child care centers with the rules at schools.
“Masks continue to be one of the best ways to contain the spread of COVID-19, and they can be safely worn by most of us over the age of two,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive, said in a release. “Be a role model for your children and demonstrate the importance of wearing a mask. Have your child practice properly wearing a mask – over their nose, mouth and chin – while they are at home so they are comfortable with it in public. It will take all of us, of all ages, doing our part to continue slowing the spread of this disease and to protect our families and communities.”
In addition to wearing a mask, everyone is reminded to keep following health safety practices like washing their hands frequently and practicing 6-foot social distancing. Anyone working outside the home, experiencing symptoms or who has been exposed to someone with coronavirus is advised to get tested.
SEVERAL INDICATORS ARE BETTER
Michigan is seeing several encouraging statistics showing the spread of the virus is on the decline, the state’s chief medical executive said Tuesday, with a plateau in cases, low hospitalizations and deaths and a lower average daily positive percentage.
The number of cases per million people per day is also declining. As of Monday, the most recent day for which data was listed on the state MI Start Map, the statewide rate was 35 cases per million people per day, down from more than 60 in mid-July. The rate in the Grand Rapids region was nearly 31.
But public health officials say there’s still a lot of work to be done and warned people not to let their guard down. They would like to see the daily positive percentage below 3% and the cases per million people per day below 10.
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