734 more coronavirus cases confirmed in Michigan


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan has recorded eight more deaths linked to COVID-19 and on Thursday confirmed 734 more cases of the virus, the latest state data shows.

The update from the state Friday afternoon brings the total number of deaths to 6,199 and the total number of confirmed cases to 81,621 since the virus was first detected in Michigan in early March.

Four of the most recent deaths were in Wayne County, which has been hit hardest by the virus with 2,677 now dead. It also confirmed 147 more cases for a total of 25,524 since the outbreak started. Also in southeast Michigan, Oakland County has had 11,357 confirmed cases (115 more than the day prior) and 1,084 deaths (one more). Macomb County has had 9,107 cases (130 more) and 899 deaths (steady).

Kalamazoo County saw two more deaths, bringing the total there to 79. It has had 1,403 cases since the start of the outbreak.

Fifty of the newly confirmed cases were in Kent County, which has now had a total of 6,426 cases since the outbreak began. The number of deaths stood at 151.

Statewide, there are 434 COVID-19 inpatients in the hospital, state data shows. There are enough intensive care beds and ventilators for everyone who needs one.

Anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms or has been exposed to the virus should get tested, state health officials urge, and self-isolate while they wait for results. You can go to the state’s website to find a testing site near you.

Labs in Michigan on Thursday tested 31,590 samples for coronavirus and 1,095 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 for the day was 3.46%. The day before, when about 29,400 samples were tested, the positive percentage was 3.8%.

State officials are concerned about an increase in the percentage of daily positive tests. That rate was mostly below 3% in June, but recently rose to an average of 3.7%. Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive, said a rate below 3% shows community spread is controlled.

The good news is that the number of cases per million people per day continues to decline statewide. The figure declined enough in West Michigan that the region was recently downgraded from the high risk to medium-high risk level by the state.

However, citing outbreaks linked to social gatherings, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer this week added some restrictions in the northern Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula, bringing those regions into alignment with the rest of the state by telling bars to stop indoor service and limiting indoor gatherings to 10.

Public health officials also continue to encourage everyone to wear a mask in public, wash their hands frequently and practice 6-foot social distancing.

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