GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The state has recorded an additional 166 deaths linked to coronavirus, bringing the total to 1,768.
A spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services told News 8 that it’s possible some of the 166 deaths may be late reports from the weekend, when the state said daily numbers may have been incomplete. The spokesperson said MDHHS would be watching the numbers closely over the next few days to determine trends.
The worst of the outbreak is in and around Detroit. Wayne County, including the city, has a total of 12,209 confirmed cases and 820 people have died there — those figures up by 561 and 60, respectively, over the day prior. Oakland County has 5,364 cases and 364 deaths. Macomb County has 3,620 cases and 293 deaths.
Nine Michigan Department of Corrections inmates have died of the virus; 429 cases have been confirmed within the state prison system. MDOC is working to parole some inmates quickly to help control the prison population and limit the spread of the virus.
In West Michigan, Kent County reported an additional death for a total of 14. It has 325 confirmed cases. Nine of those who have died were patients at the Metron of Cedar Springs nursing home.
Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Muskgeon and Van Buren counties also each added one new death for the following totals:
- Calhoun County: Three deaths, 90 cases
- Kalamazoo County: Eight deaths, 94 cases
- Muskegon County: Five deaths, 85 cases
- Van Buren County: Two deaths, 22 cases
Barry County’s first death, announced by the local health department Monday, was added to state figures Tuesday. The county has 14 confirmed cases.
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 anyone can develop a serious case, the people most at risk to develop severe complications are the elderly and those with preexisting health problems.
The state is now allowing more people to get tested, saying even those showing only mild symptoms can get swabbed — though testing will still vary based on location and local providers will still do preliminary screening to determine if testing is appropriate.
“Expanded testing is needed to learn more about how COVID-19 is spreading in our state,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive, said in a Tuesday release. “We want to make sure people know that if they have symptoms, they should work with their medical provider to be tested.”
Call your doctor if you think you should get tested and they’ll guide you through the process. You can find a sample collection site near you on using a tool on the state’s website.
On Sunday, the most recent day for which data is available, labs in Michigan ran 3,111 tests, about 29% of which came back positive.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last week extended her stay-at-home order through April 30 and added more stringent requirements. The move led to increased unrest among those who say the restrictions are inconsistent and that the continued shutdown could kill small businesses. In a Monday press conference, Whitmer acknowledged the economic hardships the measures were causing, but said they are necessary to keep a handle on coronavirus.
The state said Tuesday that because of the stoppages, businesses now have extra time to file monthly and quarterly sales, use and withholding tax payments. The deadlines for March and April have been pushed back to May 20, 2020. Penalties and interest for late filings have been waived. However, the Department of Treasury says businesses should still try to file on time if they can.
One aspect of the governor’s executive orders that has prompted criticism is the prohibition of motorized boats. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources said that between Friday and Sunday, officers gave warnings to 323 boaters. Only five were ticketed: three for boating with people outside their household and two for failing to observe social distancing requirements. None of the tickets were for motorized boating, with the DNR said it was looking for “voluntary compliance as much as possible.”
>>Online: FAQ about coronavirus restrictions
The goal of the social distancing measures is to keep the number of severe cases low enough that hospitals will be able to provide the appropriate care to everyone — so far in Michigan, they can, even in metro Detroit.
In addition to social distancing, you should wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds with soap and warm water, cough into your arm or a tissue rather than your hands and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.