Michigan adds 685 cases, 10 deaths linked to COVID-19

Michigan added 685 cases and 10 deaths linked to COVID-19 Thursday.

Of the deaths, nine were identified during a delayed records review, the state said.

Thursday’s additions bring the state’s total number of cases to 104,395 and the death toll to 6,519. 

With probable cases included, Michigan has had 115,242 cases and 6,791 deaths, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 

A sign encouraging people to wear masks along the riverfront in Detroit.

The virus has moved across the state since March, reaching from bustling Metro Detroit to the most western areas of the rural Upper Peninsula. Outbreaks have hit college towns and nursing homes. The spread could have been limited if residents more closely followed the guidance of health officials, medical experts said this week.

Health officials have emphasized the continued threat of the virus this fall as temperatures drop, people move more gatherings indoors and schools reopen.

While hospitalizations and deaths have dropped in recent months, the virus is still moving across Michigan as hundreds of new cases are still confirmed each day. One health official described it as a slowly spreading wave.

It’s hit large cities such as Detroit, which was viewed as the early epicenter, and rural regions like Oceana County, a 26,000-person area along Lake Michigan that has the state’s highest number of cases per 1,000 residents.

Michigan is doing “far better” than other states on new COVID-19 new cases and deaths, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said last week.

“Michigan has shown the rest of the country what it means to take aggressive action against COVID-19, but our work is far from over,” she said. “The COVID-19 pandemic is still a very real threat to our families, our brave frontline workers, and our economy.”

Whitmer announced Michigan’s first cases of the coronavirus on March 10, the day of the state’s presidential primary election.

“The coronavirus has the potential to impact our lives in nearly every aspect of our lives,” the governor said then.

The state’s first cases were in Oakland and Wayne counties, Michigan’s two largest counties and the ones that were hit hardest by the virus in the early weeks of its spread.

As of April 10 — a month after the first cases were announced — 79% of Michigan’s 22,783 cases and 85% of the 1,281 deaths were in Macomb, Oakland or Wayne counties.

But the virus has since hit regions outside of Metro Detroit. Through this week, 45% of the state’s cases were outside of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties with counties in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula experiencing among the largest rates of growth compared to population.

There have been outbreaks tied to farms, nursing homes and bars, like Harper’s near Michigan State University in Ingham County, to which health officials linked about 200 COVID-19 cases in July. More than 200 cases have been tied to the return of students last month at Central Michigan University.

Of those infected, the statewide fatality rate has dropped from 9.5% in June to 6.2% as of Thursday.

In Detroit, there are 20 new cases and one new death Thursday for a total of 13,734 cases and 1,514 fatalities. 

As of Tuesday, 633 Michigan residents were hospital inpatients with the virus, and 90 were on ventilators and 160 in intensive care units.

Of the 93 outbreaks in the last two weeks, 13 have been at long-term care facilities and 11 have been at food processing and migrant camps. Additionally, social gatherings including birthday parties, graduations, funerals and weddings have contributed to nine outbreaks, according to the state.

In long-term care facilities, 8,198 residents and 4,377 staff members have confirmed cases. More than 6,300 are recovering. Since March, 2,087 residents and 21 staff members have died from the virus.


Twitter: @SarahRahal_