Michigan Senate minority leader tests positive for COVID-19

Lansing — Michigan Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, has tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the fifth member of the state Legislature to publicly announce they had the virus.

“I am feeling OK and am currently recovering at home,” Ananich tweeted Friday afternoon. “I haven’t been at the Senate since exposure and I’m following my doctor’s advice and all MDHHS (Michigan Department of Health and Human Services) protocols. Thank you for your well wishes.”

Senate Minority leader Sen. Jim Ananich, D-Flint

Ananich’s announcement came as Michigan experienced a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. On Thursday, the state reported 5,710 new infections, the largest single day total yet.

Last week, the state reported a record weekly number of new cases: 20,154. It was the third straight week with a record weekly total.

On Wednesday, there were 1,925 adults hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan, more than double the 993 hospitalized adults two weeks ago, according to state data.

Jumps in deaths tied to the virus usually occur later after hospitalizations increase, said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s chief medical executive, on Thursday. Michigan, which has been battling the virus for nearly eight months, is at a “tipping point,” Khaldun said.

Ananich is the second state senator to reveal a positive test result. The first was Sen. Tom Barrett, R-Charlotte, in early August.

Rep. Beau LaFave, R-Iron Mountain, tested positive in late September. State Reps. Karen Whitsett, Detroit, and Tyrone Carter, D-Detroit, announced they had COVID-19 in the spring in the weeks after the first cases of the virus were reported in Michigan.

Another lawmaker, Rep. Isaac Robinson, D-Detroit, died on March 29 from an illness his family believed was linked to the coronavirus.

cmauger@detroitnews.com