GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Seventy-five more people died of coronavirus in Michigan on Monday, state numbers show, again the largest one-day increase yet.
The dead now number 259; 120 of the deadly cases have been in Wayne County. Those killed range in age from 25 to 107; the average age is 70. Sixty-five percent were men and 35% women.
The majority of both deaths and cases is still in southeast Michigan. Wayne County (including the city of Detroit) has recorded 3,735 cases; Oakland County has 1,591 cases and 70 deaths; and Macomb County has 853 cases and 38 deaths. Washtenaw County has 305 cases and seven deaths. Genesee County has 185 cases and seven deaths.
The first death in Berrien County, which county officials announced Monday, is among the state’s 259. That county has a total of 35 confirmed cases.
In Calhoun County, where 17 people have tested positive for the virus, one of the patients is a Battle Creek police officer. Police Chief Jim Blocker on Tuesday told News 8 that the officer continues to recover at home and is feeling much better.
“We’re expecting they’ll be fully on the mend here soon,” Blocker said.
Kent County has a total of 108 cases, 12 more than the day prior. Thirty-six of the cases are at a nursing home in Cedar Springs: 31 residents and five employees. One person in the county, a 71-year-old man with preexisting health conditions, has died.
The state, hospital and private labs have tested 24,934 samples for COVID-19. 18,963 of the tests have been negative ad 5,861 positive. The number of tests doesn’t line up with the number of confirmed cases because some people were tested twice and some tests were run out of state. Health officials have noted that the number of test kits available is limited. Not everyone displaying symptoms is going to get tested.
According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, Michigan has the fourth highest number of confirmed cases in the country, behind New York, New Jersey and California. Only New York and New Jersey have have recorded more deaths.
The state is now taking donations to its new COVID-19 Response and Recovery Initiative to support critical services like providing food, water and education support for kids. At least some of those donations will be matched by the federal government. You can donate online.
COVID-19 presents with a fever, cough and shortness of breath. For most who contract it, symptoms are mild. Though anyone can get it and develop a serious case, 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.
WHIMTER EXPECTED TO MAKE DECISION ON SCHOOLS THURSDAY
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. Restaurants are allow only to offer drive-thru, carry-out or delivery.
The governor has closed K-12 schools at least through April 13. On Tuesday, she told WDIV in Detroit that she would make a decision about the remainder of the academic year on Thursday.
On Tuesday, the Michigan Attorney General’s Office announced it had denied a request from JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores seeking to be deemed essential so it could keep operating during the stay-at-home order.
JoAnn argued it was essential because some hospitals and health departments are asking volunteers to make home-sewn face masks. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel noted that since its online stores remain open, the brick-and-mortar stores are not essential.
“I can appreciate the desire of businesses that want to remain open and provide their customers with the same products and services they have come to expect from these retailers, but there must be common sense protections in place during this global health emergency,” Nessel said in a statement. “Employees should be permitted to work from home whenever possible and businesses that are not necessary to sustaining or protecting life should comply with the order by temporarily suspending in-person operations. Reducing person-to-person contact can help slow the spread of COVID-19, and we all need to do our part.”
The goal of all the social distancing measures is to keep the number of severe cases small enough that hospitals can handle them. The hospital system in New York City, which has seen the highest numbers of cases and deaths in the nation, has been stretched to its limits. In metro Detroit, hospitals are nearing capacity.
Other than following social distancing guidelines, you should 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.