Thousands more coronavirus cases confirmed as MI total surpasses 200K

Coronavirus

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan on Friday announced an additional 3,763 cases of coronavirus had been confirmed in the state.

In all, Michigan has now seen 201,569 confirmed cases since the virus was first detected in the state nearly eight months ago. Forty-three more deaths linked to the virus were also added to the state’s tally, bringing the total to 7,513.

The Friday data update from the state, which is generally released around 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, was delayed by more than two hours. The state did not explain why.

On Thursday, labs in Michigan tested 53,830 samples for the virus and 5,598 came back positive, a rate of 10.4% — above 10% for the fourth consecutive day.

Kent County saw eight more deaths, bringing its total to 204. It also recorded 376 more cases for a total of 17,525 since the start of the outbreak in March.

Several other West Michigan counties also saw more deaths:

  • Calhoun County: One more death for 75 total; 3,385 total cases since the start of the outbreak.
  • Kalamazoo County: Four more deaths for 121 total; 4,955 total cases.
  • Montcalm County: One more death for 14 total; 814 total cases.
  • Ottawa County: One more death for 79 total; 6,724 total cases.
  • Van Buren County: One more for 19 total; 1,334 total cases.

Wayne County recorded 410 more cases for a total of 41,029 since the start of the outbreak and four more the deaths for a total of 2,908. Neighboring Oakland County has had 24,210 cases (317 more than the previous day) and 1,197 deaths (two more). Macomb County has had 20,868 cases (320 more) and 1,061 deaths (two more).

Michigan’s virus cases are surging and things appear to only be getting worse. The state’s chief medical executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said on Thursday that the numbers of new cases daily are now five times higher than in early September. The percentage of positive tests each day has been rising for five weeks with the seven-day average now around 8.6%. Officials say a rate below 3% shows community spread is controlled.

Khaldun said the number of hospitalizations is “rapidly rising” and is about four times what it was at the end of August. As of Friday, more than 2,400 adult inpatients were suspected or confirmed to have the virus.

In West Michigan, Spectrum Health hospitals had 224 inpatients with COVID-19. Health system officials told News 8 Thursday they were nearing capacity but had a plan for overflow. Ascension Michigan, which runs Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo, said in a Friday statement that it has the capacity to treat all its patients.

“All of our Ascension Michigan hospitals, including Ascension Borgess, have a surge plan specific to that facility, and we are able to quickly adapt to the needs of our patients and to the healthcare demands of our community,” the statement read in part. “Preparedness efforts are ongoing and involve local, statewide and national resources. As cases of COVID-19 rise in our area, Ascension Michigan is urging our communities to work together to mitigate the spread of the virus by wearing masks, washing our hands and adhering to social distancing.”

The number of deaths each day is rising, and Khaldun said she expects it to keep going up behind rising case counts.

She urged everyone to follow basic health practices like washing their hands frequently, practicing 6-foot social distancing, avoiding gatherings and wearing a mask to help slow the spread of the virus.

“Things are concerning, but we are not helpless,” she said. “If we use the public health tools that we have, we can get through this.”

**Correction: A previous version of this article stated the positivity rate of daily tests had been above 10% for three consecutive days. It was actually four consecutive days. We regret the mistake, which has been corrected.

  

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