718 more coronavirus cases, 15 more related deaths in Michigan


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan has confirmed 718 more cases of coronavirus and recorded 15 more deaths linked to the virus.

The 15 deaths announced in Tuesday’s update from the state include eight found during a review of death certificates. The state has been checking death certificates routinely for months to find any that weren’t immediately reported.

Michigan has now seen 6,495 COVID-19-related deaths and and confirmed a total of 103,186 cases of the virus since it was first detected in the state in March.

Labs on Monday tested 24,133 samples for the virus and 796 came back positive. The number of positive tests does not equal the number of newly confirmed cases because people may be tested more than once. The percentage of positive tests was 3.3%.

As of Saturday, the most recent day for which the MI Start Map lists data, the seven-day average for the percentage of daily positive tests was about 3%. State health officials previously said a rate consistently below 3% would show community spread was controlled.

Six of the most recently recorded deaths were in Wayne County. Hit hardest by the virus, it has now seen 2,751 deaths. It also confirmed 117 additional cases for a total of 29,510 since the outbreak began in March. Neighboring Oakland County has had 14,552 cases (100 more than the previous day) and 1,122 deaths (two more). Macomb County has had 12,423 cases (98 more) and 930 deaths (one more).

One of the deaths was in Kent County, bringing its total to 164. The county also confirmed 43 more cases for a total of 7,794.

Muskegon County also added one death for a total of 68 and confirmed six new cases for a total of 1,287 since the start of the outbreak.

Newaygo County saw its first death and confirmed two more cases for a total of 286.

As of Monday evening, the Michigan Department of Corrections said it was dealing with 866 “active” COVID-19 cases, an increase of 24 since Friday. Many of those are at the state prison on Muskegon.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday that starting next week, it will release a daily coronavirus numbers report only six days a week. There will be no update on Sundays. Instead, weekend figures will be published Mondays.

In explaining the change, the state cited lower and erratic testing on Saturdays and Sundays.

As it has been doing, the state will continue breaking down each case by the date of the onset of symptoms.

“At this time, reporting on Sunday rather than Monday is not critical to our understanding of the virus,” MDHHS Director Robert Gordon said in a statement. “This change will allow staff who have not had a real day off since February to get some relief and allow the department to prioritize more valuable data reporting, including school outbreak information.”

Michigan continues to see fair trends in key metrics that help show the scope of the outbreak. In addition to the declining positivity percentage average, cases appear to have plateaued and the numbers of deaths each day remain low. Hospitals remain well within capacity.

The state is urging anyone with coronavirus symptoms or who has been exposed to the virus to get tested. The Allegan County Health Department is hosting free drive-thru testing from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday at 1134 W. Superior Street in Wayland.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will hold a briefing on the state’s response to the pandemic at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. She will be joined by Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist; Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive; and a Michigan business leader whose name wasn’t released to discuss a “significant investment” to help small businesses. The press conference will stream live on woodtv.com.



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