GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan on Thursday confirmed 389 more cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases to 62,695 since the outbreak began in March, state data shows.
While the daily number of new cases has been increasing all week, the state has been running more tests and the percentage of positive tests for the virus has remained similar during that period.
On Thursday, labs in Michigan tested 19,067 samples for the virus and 544 of them — or 2.85% — came back positive.
That’s about 1,000 more total tests than the day previous and about 8,500 more than were run Sunday. Throughout, the positivity rate has remained between 2% and 3%, though it has increased slightly each day since Sunday.
In Wayne County, where the outbreak has been the worst, there were 71 more cases confirmed over the previous day for a total of 21,644 since the outbreak began. The number of deaths in Wayne County was revised down by one to 2,582. It’s not unusual for counties and the state to double-check and revise data.
Elsewhere around Detroit, Oakland County has had 8,754 cases and 1,042 deaths. Macomb County has had 7,074 confirmed cases and 864 cases.
In Genesee County, where Flint is, there have been 2,158 cases and 260 deaths.
Within the Michigan Department of Corrections, the numbers of cases and deaths stand at 4,098 and 68, respectively.
Kent County confirmed 53 more cases for a total of 4,389 since the outbreak started. The number of deaths stands at 127.
In Ingham County, authorities are tracking an outbreak of the virus centered on Harper’s Pub in East Lansing. Some 76 cases linked to the bar have been identified this week. People who visited the bar are being asked to self-isolate.
Editor’s Note: The initial update from the state Friday indicated two new deaths. That was later revised to one new death. Our article has been updated to reflect the most recent figures from the state.
WHITMER CREATES NURSING HOMES TASK FORCE
About 12% cases of total cases and a third of deaths linked to the virus have been among skilled nursing home residents. On Friday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer created the Michigan Nursing Homes COVID-19 Preparedness Task Force with the Michigan Department of Heath and Human Services, which will make recommendations on preparing nursing homes for future waves of the virus by Aug. 31. It will also analyze data from nursing homes and make recommendations to improve that data quality.
Whitmer also extended an executive order that mandates COVID-19 screening to visitors of nursing homes through July 24. The order now allows MDHHS to allow facilities to gradually lift precautions if the outbreak situation allows.
TESTING IN WEST MICHIGAN
The Kent County Health Department is offering free coronavirus testing next week in partnership with two urban community outreach groups.
The testing event will be held from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday at the Gallery at LINC UP on Madison Avenue SE at Hall Street in Grand Rapids. Anyone older than 6 months can get tested for free.
LINC UP and the Black Impact Collaborative are supporting the clinic. The Kent County Health Department says the testing will help inform the response to the virus.
Health officials are looking to test more people within the Black and Latino communities, which have been disproportionately affected by the virus. The health department says that in Kent County, where Latino and Black people each make up about 10% of the population, Latino patients have accounted for nearly 40% of total COVID-19 cases and Black patients about 19%.
Additionally, even though 17% of confirmed cases are out of the 49507 zip code — which covers a few south Grand Rapids neighborhoods including Alger and Burton Heights, Garfield Park, the Madison Area and Oakdale — that region accounts for only 6% of the county’s population.
Meanwhile, in Ottawa County, Holland Hospital said it will close its coronavirus drive-thru testing clinic on S. Waverly Road on July 3. The hospital said it has seen a drop in positive cases in the region, so the site is no longer necessary. You can still call the hospital’s COVID-19 Screening Hotline at 616.394.2080 for guidance if you think you have the virus.