768 new COVID-19 cases, 81 deaths reported in Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan has 768 new COVID-19 cases and 81 new deaths, according to figures released Saturday afternoon.

The daily reported increase in deaths is the lowest since April 5. The total number of cases is now 30,791 and 2,308 people have died from the virus in Michigan.

The state says 3,237 have recovered as of Friday, which is defined as someone who started experiencing symptoms 30 days earlier and was still alive. 

The fatality rate calculated by the state is 7%. For context, seasonal influenza generally has a fatality rate of about .01%, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The outbreak is the worst in and around Detroit. Wayne County has 13,471 confirmed cases (238 more than the day before) and 1,070 people have died there (66 more than the day prior). In Oakland County, 6,021 people have been infected and 458 of them have died. Macomb County has 4,251 confirmed cases and 384 deaths.

For the second straight day, Kent County reported three new deaths, bringing the total to 23. Overall, the county has 460 cases.

Genesee County, where Flint is, has 1,228 confirmed cases and 112 deaths.

A stay-at-home order is in effect in Michigan through April 30. Under it, you should only leave the house if you’re an essential employee or for essential errands, like going to the grocery store or pharmacy. You should also follow common-sense health practices, like washing your hands frequently for 20 seconds with soap and warm water, coughing into your arm or a tissue rather than your hands and avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands.

The goal of these measures is to help slow the spread of the virus and keep the number of severe cases down so that hospitals can manage. On Friday afternoon, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive, said social distancing was working. They said the curve was flattened but that letting up too early could cause a second spike.

Whitmer told “Good Morning America” on Friday morning that some social distancing measures could be loosened May 1. Later in the day, she wouldn’t give a precise date for reopening businesses, but said it would happen in phases. She is expected to release more information next week.

COVID-19 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 testing criteria from the state, even those with mild symptoms can get tested in many places, though your local doctor or hospital system will determine if you get tested.