State reports an ‘alarming’ increase of COVID-19 cases

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan has confirmed 3,338 more coronavirus cases and 35 more deaths.

The total number of cases in Michigan since March is now 158,026 and the total number of associated deaths is 7,182.

Twenty-seven of the newly confirmed deaths were discovered after reviewing vital records.

On Friday, labs in Michigan tested 53,272 samples for the virus and 2,873 came back positive, a rate of 5.39%.

Officials note while the data represents the date the information was delivered to the state, it does represent current trends in disease occurrence. The state says more than 96% of the test results being reported Saturday originated from specimens that were collected from people in the past five days.

“The data shows we are continuing to see alarming increases in the incidence of COVID-19 infections in Michigan,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health in a statement. “It is now more important than ever that people take this seriously. Wear a mask every time you are going to be around someone outside of your own household. Avoid large gatherings and maintain a safe distance from others. If rates continue like this, we risk overwhelming our hospitals and having many more Michiganders die.”

Kent County alone saw 326 new cases reported, bringing its total to 12,799 since the start of the outbreak. Two more deaths were confirmed for a total of 181.

Several West Michigan counties recorded additional deaths:

  • Branch County: One more death for a total of 10; total of 744 cases.
  • Calhoun County: Two more deaths for a total of 65; total of 2,401 cases.
  • Muskegon County: One more death for a total of 81; total of 1,951.

In Wayne County, which was the early epicenter of Michigan’s outbreak but which is now doing better than Kent County, there were 312 new cases confirmed for a total of 36,372 since March and four more deaths for a total of 2,875. Neighboring Oakland County has had 19,642 confirmed cases (303 more than the previous day) and 1,184 deaths (two more deaths). Macomb County has had 17,034 cases (323 more) and 1,035 deaths. (six more).

The state says 114,939 have recovered from the virus, meaning they are still alive a month after developing symptoms.

Berrien County revised it’s death total down by one, bringing it to 79. It has had 2,362 cases.

Several metrics show the virus is spreading more freely in Michigan than in months past. The seven-day average of new cases per million people per day is higher than it was at its last peak in April, with the highest rates in the Upper Peninsula, southwest Michigan and West Michigan. The average of daily positive tests is climbing. Hospitalizations are rising, too. The average number of deaths each day has also risen in the last month, though it is still far below where it was in April.

As the number of cases grows, state officials are again urging everyone to avoid large gatherings, practice 6-foot social distancing, wash their hands frequently and wear a mask in public.