477 more coronavirus cases, 15 more deaths in Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan has recorded 15 more deaths linked to coronavirus and on Monday confirmed 477 more cases, the latest state data shows.

Of the 15 deaths, seven were discovered when the state checked death certificates for any that were not immediately reported. The state has been running those checks routinely a few times each week for months.

The figures released Tuesday bring the total number of deaths to 6,340 and the total number of confirmed cases to 93,662 since the virus was first detected in Michigan in March.

On Monday, labs in Michigan tested 22,262 samples for the virus and 603 came back positive. The number of positive tests does not equal the number of new cases because people may be tested more than once, though the state says its system allowed a person to be counted as only one case regardless of the number of tests.

The percentage of positive tests for the day was 2.71%, the best it has been all month. The seven-day average for positive tests is 3.35%. State health officials would like to see the rate below 3% to indicate community spread is under control.

The state is asking anyone who is showing symptoms of COVID-19 or who has been exposed to someone with the virus to get tested. A free testing is being held Wednesday from 8 a.m. to noon at Holland Middle School on E. 24th Street; the Michigan National Guard will help out.

Five of the newly recorded deaths were in Wayne County, where the virus has hit hardest with 2,711 now dead. It confirmed 106 additional cases for a total of 27,789 since the start of the outbreak. Oakland County has had 13,208 cases (57 more than the day previous) and 1,101 deaths (two more). Macomb County has had 11,070 cases (69 more) and 918 deaths (one more).

Of the about 730 “active” COVID-19 cases within the Michigan Department of Corrections, more than 600 are at the Muskegon Correctional Facility. The Newberry Correctional Facility in the Upper Peninsula is also seeing an increase in cases.

Kent County added 34 more confirmed cases for a total of 7,150 since the outbreak began. The number of deaths remained steady at 155.

Berrien County added one more death for a total of 69. It has has 1,291 confirmed cases.

Hope College in Holland says it tested all of its students, faculty and staff before their return to campus. Of 3,979 tests run between July 19 and Tuesday, 38 came back positive. The school noted people may have been tested more than once.

Hope spokesman Greg Olger told News 8 the college expected some positive results, but also pointed out that at less than 1%, the percentage of positives was well below the national and state averages.

Five students already on campus who tested positive have been moved to isolation housing.

Michigan is still seeing encouraging numbers in key metrics like the percentage of positive tests daily and the number of new cases per million people per day. Hospitalizations remain low, as do the number of deaths each day.

On Tuesday, the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency asked the Federal Emergency Management Administration to provide an additional $300 each week to those getting unemployment benefits. The UIA says about 910,000 Michigan residents would get the money.

“We look forward to receiving a response from FEMA in order to implement and distribute these additional funds to Michiganders as quickly as possible,” UIA Director Steve Gray said in a statement. “Michigan workers are advised to continue their bi-weekly certifications as they normally would and do not need to contact the UIA or make changes to their MiWAM account to receive these additional funds.”

If FEMA approves the payments, they would be retroactive to Aug. 1.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will hold a briefing on the state’s response to coronavirus at 2 p.m. Wednesday. She will be joined by Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive. You can watch it live on WOOD TV8 and streaming on woodtv.com.

MICHIGAN UNEMPLOYMENT RESOURCES

Unemployment FAQs for workers | Unemployment FAQs for employers

The Federal COVID-19 Cares Act | Step by step: How to file a claim

More Michigan unemployment resources and information