GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan’s tally of deaths linked to COVID-19 has risen by 43, bringing the total to 7,129 since March.
Of the 43 deaths announced by the state Thursday, 31 were discovered when public health officials reviewed death certificates to find any that had not previously been reported to the state.
The state also announced 1,873 more confirmed cases of the virus. A total of 152,862 people in Michigan have now contracted the virus since it was first detected in the state in March.
The number of deaths in Kent County rose by two to 179 and an additional 155 cases were confirmed for a total of 12,249 since the start of the outbreak.
Also in West Michigan, Calhoun County alone recorded four more deaths for a total of 61. It has had 2,217 cases. St. Joseph County had three more deaths, bringing its total to 15. It has had 959 cases.
Montcalm and Muskegon counties each saw one more death for totals of nine and 77, respectively. Montcalm County has had 497 confirmed cases of the virus and Muskegon County 1,828.
In Wayne County, which has seen the highest death toll, there were nine more recorded for a total of 2,871. An additional 127 cases were confirmed for a total of 35,897 since the start of the outbreak. Also in southeast Michigan, Oakland County has had 19,179 cases (165 more than the previous day) and 1,182 deaths (five more). Macomb County has had 16,573 cases (161 more) and 1,025 deaths (four more).
On Wednesday, labs in Michigan tested 45,494 samples for the virus and 2,245 came back positive, a rate of 4.93%. The percentages of positive tests each day have been up recently, with the seven-day average now nearing 5% statewide. For the bulk of August and September, the statewide percentages were closer to 3%, the threshold that public health officials say shows community spread is controlled.
A number of metrics show Michigan’s outbreak is worsening. The seven-day average of new cases per million people per day is higher than it was at its last peak in April. The average number of deaths each day has risen in the last month, though it is still far below where it was in April.
Hospitalizations are also rising statewide, with about 1,200 adult inpatients believed or confirmed to have COVID-19. About 300 of those are in intensive care.
As the virus continues to spread more quickly, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s chief medical executive, on Wednesday called on residents to follow basic mitigation practices including washing hands frequently, practicing 6-foot social distancing and, they stressed, wearing masks in public.
“We really should not feel helpless. We have what it takes to get control of this virus and we’ve done it before,” Khaldun said during a press conference in Lansing.