GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The number of deaths linked to COVID-19 has topped 14,000 in Michigan, a milestone that came as the state continues to see the spread of the virus slowing.

Michigan on Thursday announced 148 more deaths has been recorded, 128 of which were discovered during a review of death certificates to find any that had not previously been reported to the state.

In all, 14,053 people in Michigan have now died after contracting coronavirus; about 1,000 of them in the last two weeks alone and half since mid-October.

The state also announced 2,165 more confirmed cases of the virus, bringing the total number in the state to 544,311 since the virus was first detected in Michigan in March 2020.

On Wednesday, labs in Michigan tested 54,667 samples — the highest single-day number this month — for the virus and 2,670 were positive. 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 positivity rate was 4.88%, the lowest it has been since Oct. 15.

Kent County recorded nine more deaths, bringing its total to 576. It also confirmed 196 more cases for a total of 45,342 since the start of the outbreak.

Several other West Michigan counties also recorded additional deaths:

  • Allegan County: Three more deaths for 79 total; 6,016 total confirmed cases since the start of the outbreak.
  • Barry County: One more death for 38 total; 3,132 total cases.
  • Berrien County: Four more deaths for 199 total; 9,720 total cases.
  • Branch County: Two more deaths for 74 total; 3,220 total cases.
  • Calhoun County: One more death for 194 total; 7,542 total cases.
  • Ionia County: One more death for 56 total; 3,805 total cases.
  • Kalamazoo County: Five more deaths for 256 total; 12,207 total cases.
  • Mecosta County: Two more deaths for 17 total; 1,728 total cases.
  • Muskegon County: Two more deaths for 281 total; 9,895 total cases.
  • Ottawa County: Four more deaths for 287 total; 19,507 total cases.
  • St. Joseph County: Two more deaths for 67 total; 3,799 total cases.
  • Van Buren County: One more death for 81 total; 4,348 total cases.

Wayne County, where Detroit is and which has been hit hardest by the virus, recorded 21 more deaths for a total of 3,693. It also confirmed 283 more cases for a total of 88,130. Neighboring Oakland County has had 60,094 cases (198 more than the previous day) and 1,738 deaths (20 more). Macomb County has had 51,674 cases (173 more) and 1,696 deaths (13 more).

During a virtual briefing Wednesday, Michigan’s chief epidemiologist expressed said the state was seeing some ‘encouraging’ metrics, specifically a recent plateau in the state’s case rate, a notable decline in the seven-day average of the daily positive test rate, which is now below 7% for the first time since late October, and continuing (though recently slowed) declines in hospitalizations and deaths per day.

The state says Michigan ranks 23rd among all states for the highest number of coronavirus cases, 14th in the number of deaths and 34th in the percentage of all hospital beds treating COVID-19 patients.


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services have said restaurant dining rooms may be allowed to reopen Feb. 1. They could hold a press conference Friday to discuss that further.