GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan has recorded 172 more deaths linked to coronavirus, bringing the total to 2,093.
It’s the second-highest increase so far, but 65 of the deaths may have happened several days ago. They were discovered when the state conducted its once-per-week review of death certificates to find any that weren’t reported right away. The highest increase of 205 was also on a day when that search was conducted.
The outbreak is the worst in and around Detroit. Wayne County has 13,002 confirmed cases (458 more than the day before) and 981 people have died there, 97 more than the day before. In Oakland County, 5,778 people have been infected and 420 of them have died. Macomb County has 3,992 confirmed cases and 354 deaths.
That means overall, 22,772 of the state’s cases and 1,755 of the deaths are in metro Detroit.
The state on Thursday started releasing a fatality rate for each county. Wayne County’s rate (tabulated by News 8 because the state counts the county and city of Detroit separately) is about 7.5%, Oakland County’s is 7% and Macomb County’s 9%.
Genesee County, where Flint is, has 1,147 cases, 99 deaths and a fatality rate of 9%.
Within the Michigan Department of Corrections, 486 prisoners have contracted the illness and 12 of them have died, a fatality rate of 2%. While the number of confirmed cases rose by 14, deaths remained the same.
In Kent County, there are 385 cases and 17 deaths (one more than the day prior), a fatality rate of 4%. Calhoun County also added one death for a total of four; it has 119 confirmed cases for a fatality rate of 3%.
Michigan is under a stay-at-home order through April 30. Under it, people should not leave their house unless they are an essential worker or unless they are performing an essential errand, like going to the grocery store or pharmacy. The goal of the measure is to “flatten the curve” — slow the spread of the virus and keep the number of severe cases manageable. So far, even in metro Detroit, there are enough beds and ventilators for everyone in need.
There is some early evidence that it’s working and we are reaching a plateau, but state officials warn it’s too early to ease up on wide-ranging social distancing efforts.
On Wednesday, thousands protested Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s coronavirus-related orders around the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, saying some are excessive and inconsistent. Whitmer responded that each of her decisions has been made in the interest of public health.
COVID-19 often 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.
If you think you have coronavirus, call your health care provider. Unless you are in need of emergency help, do not go to the emergency room. Get advice from a doctor over the phone or a televisit and they will direct you on how to get tested. Under expanded state guidelines, many more people, including those with mild symptoms, can get tested.
On Tuesday, the most recent day for which data is available, the state ran about 4,600 tests (about 1,200 more than the day prior). Of those, 26.5% came back positive.