Nearly 8,700 more coronavirus cases in Michigan


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan has confirmed another 8,689 cases of coronavirus and recorded another 81 deaths linked to it.

The data released Friday brings the total number of cases in Michigan to 389,032 since the virus was first detected in the state in March and the total number of related deaths to 9,661.

On Thursday, labs in Michigan tested 67,058 samples for the virus and 9,413 came back positive, a rate of 14.04%. That’s nearly five times higher than the 3% threshold that public health officials say demonstrates community spread is controlled.

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.

The seven-day average of cases per million people per day in Michigan is about 443, and state tracking shows a slight decline in that rate since mid-November. The Jackson region is currently seeing the highest rate at nearly 550 new cases per million per day, followed by the Lansing region (513), West Michigan (505) and Southwest Michigan (about 486).

As of Thursday, state data showed 4,150 adult hospital inpatients were either suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19. Grand Rapids-based Spectrum Health said it had 305 patients as of Friday; its patient count had been declining for a week.

Statewide, the seven-day average of daily deaths is now above 80, though that rate, too, shows slight improvement.

Though case and positivity rates are showing minor improvements or a plateau in recent weeks, Michigan’s chief medical executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun on Thursday reminded people that the figures are still “alarmingly high.” Michigan recently ranked sixth in the nation in number of cases and 20th in case rates.

Public health officials say there could be a spike in coming weeks linked to Thanksgiving gatherings and travel. They continue to urge people not to gather or travel for the December holidays and to keep following coronavirus mitigation practices like social distancing and wearing a mask.

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