996 additional COVID-19 cases include 300 from lab backlog

Coronavirus

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan has confirmed nearly 1,000 more cases of coronavirus, but the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says about 300 of them were late reports to the state.

The 996 cases added to the state tally in Wednesday’s update bring the total number of confirmed cases to 80,172 since the virus was first detected in Michigan in March.

About 300 of the cases were “attributable to older lab results” as a commercial lab reported a backlog of tests, MDHHS said. Like all cases, the backlogged cases will be sorted by date of onset in the state’s dashboard.

The state also recorded two more deaths linked to COVID-19, bringing the total to 6,172. Residents of nursing homes continue to account for about a third of total fatalities.

Hospitalization rates remain steady. Michigan hospitals have enough intensive care beds and are well-stocked with ventilators.

COUNTY DATA

Kent County confirmed 40 new cases for a total of 6,332 since the start of the outbreak. The number of deaths stood at 151.

On Tuesday, the 13 counties that make up the Grand Rapids region were de-escalated from the high risk level to medium risk amid an overall decline in the number of cases per million people per day. However, Kent County is still seeing a high figure for that rate at nearly 60 as of Sunday, according to the state’s MI Start Map.

While the state added only two deaths to its total, several counties added or subtracted deaths. It has not been unusual for this to happen as health officials check cases to confirm nothing is counted twice and sometimes shift cases to other jurisdictions.

Wayne County, for example, reported four more deaths for a total of 2,668. The county hit hardest by the virus also confirmed 340 more cases for a total of 25,206 since the outbreak began.

The Associated Press reports several cases have now been linked to a wedding in Southgate, southwest of Detroit. With more than 100 guests, that wedding violated Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s limitations for events.

Also in southeast Michigan, four deaths were removed from Oakland County’s tally to put the number of death at 1,080. The county confirmed 178 more cases to bring its total to 11,108 since the start of the outbreak. An additional 109 cases were confirmed in Macomb County for a total of 8,835, while four deaths were from its tally for a total of 896.

In West Michigan, Calhoun Ottawa and Oceana counties each reported one more death for the following totals:

  • Calhoun County: 40 total deaths; 621 total confirmed cases
  • Oceana County: Six total deaths; 442 total confirmed cases
  • Ottawa County: 49 total deaths; 1,546 total confirmed cases

In Kalamazoo County, Portage officials closed Ramona Park Beach temporarily as a precaution after three staff members started showing symptoms of COVID-19. All three are being tested and in quarantine while they wait for results. The park will be cleaned before it reopens.

POSITIVE TEST PERCENTAGE

Labs in Michigan on Tuesday tested 27,279 samples for coronavirus and 873 of those came back positive. The number of positive tests is higher than the number of new cases because some people may be tested more than once, but the state says its reporting system is set up to ensure a single person cannot account for more than one case. The percentage of positive tests for the day was 3.2%.

The weekly average rate of daily positive tests in Michigan is now around 3.7%, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s chief medical executive, said during a Tuesday briefing on the state of the outbreak. She said experts are looking for a rate of below 3%, where it was for much of June, to indicate community spread is under control.

“When there’s increased testing and the percentage of tests that are positive goes up, it indicates that there may be community spread going on,” she explained.

She said anyone experiencing coronavirus symptoms or who has been exposed to the virus should arrange a test and quarantine at home while awaiting results. You can go to the state’s website to find a testing site near you.

Khaldun reiterated the steps health officials urge to slow the spread of the virus: wash your hand frequently, practice 6-foot social distancing and avoid large crowds and wear a mask in public.

She also asked people to keep an eye out for calls from contact tracers warning you of exposure. The state is rolling out a text messaging system to tell you to expect a call.

Nationwide, the U.S. has seen more than 14 million confirmed cases of the virus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, and surpassed 150,000 deaths.


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