GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — With an additional 4,992 confirmed coronavirus cases announced Monday, Michigan has surpassed half a million cases since the virus was first detected in the state nearly 10 months ago.
In all, some 502,119 people have contracted the virus. That works out to about 1 in 20 people in the state, which has a population of about 10 million.
“COVID-19 didn’t end with the new year,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a Monday statement on the milestone. “There is still more work to do to beat this virus, but I know that Michiganders are up to the challenge. Let’s harness our Michigan grit and eliminate this virus once and for all.”
While she noted that “there is hope on the horizon,” she encouraged people to keep practicing social distancing and wearing masks as the state works to roll out vaccines, which still aren’t expected to be available to the general public until late spring.
The Monday update from the state, which includes two days’ worth of data because data is not released on Sundays, also announced 80 more deaths linked to COVID-19 for a total of 12,678.
On Saturday, labs in Michigan tested 21,545 samples for the virus and 2,130 were positive, a rate of 9.89%. On Sunday, 42,596 samples were tested and 3,336 were positive, a rate of 7.83%.
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.
Kent County recorded 10 more deaths over the two days bringing its total to 527, and confirmed 297 more cases for a total of 42,010 since the start of the outbreak.
A few West Michigan counties also reported additional deaths:
- Allegan County: One more death for 58 total; 5,408 total confirmed cases since March.
- Branch County: One more death for 65 total; 2,901 total cases.
- Calhoun County: One more death for 182 total; 6,972 total cases.
- Ionia County: Four more deaths for 47 total; 3,467 total cases.
- Kalamazoo County: Three more deaths for 223 total; 11,099 total cases.
- Ottawa County: Four more deaths for 254 total; 17,869 total cases.
Wayne County recorded 14 more deaths over the two days for a total of 3,489 and confirmed 842 more cases for a total of 81,633 — both those figures are the highest of any county in the state. Neighboring Oakland County has had 55,395 cases (595 more than were reported Saturday) and 1,586 deaths (two more). Macomb County has had 48,377 (423 more) and 1,556 deaths (two more).
Michigan has recently been seeing encouraging trends in its outbreak, with the number of new cases per million people per day on the decline, the average rate of positive tests each day down, hospitalizations trending down and the number of deaths each day seeing improvements.
Still, the numbers are high. Michigan recorded about 100,000 new cases in the last 28 days alone. The rate of daily deaths is at least five times higher than it was in early September.
Additionally, the percentage of positive tests still nearly three times the 3% threshold health experts look for to show the spread of the virus is controlled.