Whitmer works to enforce virus orders as 664 more cases confirmed

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan has recorded eight more deaths linked to COVID-19 and on Monday confirmed 664 more cases of the virus, the latest state data shows.

The eight deaths include five found during a review of death certificates to find any that weren’t previously reported to the state. The state has been running those checks routinely multiple times each week for months.

The updated figures released Tuesday afternoon bring the total number of deaths to 6,220 and the total number of cases to 84,050 since the virus was first detected in Michigan in March.

Labs in Michigan on Monday tested 25,695 samples for the virus and 830 came back positive. The number of positive tests is higher than the number of new confirmed cases because some people may be tested more than once, but the state says its reporting system is set up to ensure a single person cannot account for more than one case.

The percentage of positive tests was 3.23%, a slight decline from the previous day. That percentage has been mostly between 3% and 4% since early July, whereas it was mostly below 3% in June.

Hospitalizations statewide remain below 500.

Three of the eight deaths were in Wayne County, which has been hit hardest by the virus with 2,683 now dead. It also confirmed 134 more cases for a total of 25,970. In neighboring Oakland County, there have been 11,688 cases (83 more than the day previous) and 1,084 deaths (no change). Macomb County has had 9,475 cases (91 more) and 900 deaths (one more).

Within the Michigan Department of Corrections, there have been 4,234 cases — 88 more than listed the day prior — and 69 inmates have died after contracting the virus. MDOC told News 8 Monday it has only 25 “active” cases and the majority of those are at Muskegon Correctional Facility.

Kent County confirmed 46 more cases for a total of 6,645 since the outbreak started. The number of deaths stood at 151.

Cass and St. Joseph counties each saw one more death for totals of 11 and eight, respectively. Cass County has had 276 cases and St. Joseph County 492 cases.

The number of deaths in Calhoun County was revised down by one to 40. It has not been unusual for these figures to change as cases are double-checked and sometimes moved to other jurisdictions. The county has had a total of 661 cases.


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday issued an executive directive requiring each state department head to review how they are using resources to ensure enforcement of COVID-19 mitigation rules — namely the governor’s mandate to wear a mask anytime you are in a public place.

In announcing the directive, her office cited an increase in the seven-average of new cases per million people per day from about 15 in mid-June to about 50 in late July.

As of Sunday, the most recent date for which the state’s MI Start Map lists data, the rate was 36.8 cases per million people per day.

“Ensuring these executive orders are enforced across the state will protect Michigan families, small businesses, and the first responders on the front lines of this crisis,” Whitmer said in a statement. “This fight is not over yet. During the month of July we saw an increase in positive COVID-19 cases in every region of the state. By allocating the appropriate and needed resources, we can continue to save lives and ensure we don’t have to move backward.”

Her order requires departments to put special focus on the types of places that have seen outbreaks, like nursing homes, meat processing plants and agricultural housing. It also orders department and agency directors to consider violations of the rules when considering licensing.

Whitmer will hold a briefing on the state’s response to the virus at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. She will be accompanied by Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist and Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive. You can watch it live on WOOD TV8 and streaming on woodtv.com.

In addition to wearing masks, public health officials continue to encourage everyone to wash their hands frequently and practice 6-foot social distancing. Anyone experiencing symptoms or who has been exposed to someone with coronavirus is also advised to get tested and self-isolate while they wait for results.