Coronavirus deaths top 400 in Michigan, with nearly 11,000 confirmed cases

click to enlarge A visualization of the coronavirus. - SHUTTERSTOCK
A visualization of the coronavirus.

Michigan reported 80 more coronavirus deaths on Thursday – the highest single-day increase – bringing the total to 417.

The number of confirmed infections also rose higher than any previous day, increasing from 9,334 to 10,791.

With deaths more than doubling every three days, Michigan has the third-highest number of coronavirus-related fatalities in the U.S., behind New York and New Jersey. Top federal government officials on Wednesday estimated that between 1,000 and 4,500 Michigan residents will die from the coronavirus.

Saying the exponential rise in cases and deaths are expected to continue for about another month, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered K-12 schools closed for the rest of the year.

“It will be too dangerous for our kids to be congregating at schools, and that’s true for the foreseeable future,” Whitmer said during a somber press conference Thursday. “We are in for a tough four, five, six weeks.”

With a critical shortage of testing kits, Whitmer and the state’s top doctor said it’s impossible to know how many people are infected, and it’s difficult to provide accurate forecasts.

Officials are sure of one thing: Hospitals are running out of ventilators, intensive-care beds, trained medical staff, and personal protective gear like masks, gloves, and gowns.

"This continues to be a true public health crisis,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan's chief medical executive, said Thursday. “We know that many of our hospitals on the front lines taking care of patients are at capacity. Intensive-care units are full. Hospitals are running low on masks and gowns."

Of the state’s 83 counties, 68 have positive cases.

For the first time, the state released data on the ages of the deceased. Of the total deaths, 1% was 20 to 29, 2% were 30 to 39, 7% were 40 to 49, 12% were 50 to 59, 20% were 60 to 69, 25% were 70 to 79, and 34% were 80 and older.

The infection and fatality rates are highest in Detroit, where the death toll rose by 18 over the past day, bringing the total to 101. With 6.7% of the population, Detroit has about a quarter of the state’s deaths and infections. Public health officials say the city’s high rates of poverty and chronic illnesses are likely behind the rising death toll.

Wayne County reported 48 new deaths, bringing its total to 194. In Oakland County, there are 2,183 positive cases and 119 deaths, with 20 new fatalities in the past day. Macomb County now has 1,332 confirmed infections and 53 deaths.

Five other Michigan counties have more than 100 confirmed cases: Washtenaw (438), Genesee (349), Ingham (121), Kent (125), and Livingston (113). Of the total cases, 1% are among patients 0 to 19 years old, 9% are 20 to 29, 13% are 30 to 39, 17% are 40 to 49, 20% are 50 to 59, 18% are 60 to 69, 13% are 70 to 79, and 8% are 80 and older.

The death rate is far higher for men, who make up 64% of the fatalities but 49% of the positive cases. Those who have died range in age from 20 to 107. The average age for deaths is 71.3, with a median age of 73.

Globally, there were more than 1 million coronavirus cases in 181 countries, and 51,485 deaths as of Wednesday afternoon, according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine. The U.S. has more positive cases than any country in the world, with 236,339 confirmed infections and 5,648 deaths.

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About The Author

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling is an award-winning investigative journalist who operated Motor City Muckraker, an online news site devoted to exposing abuses of power and holding public officials accountable. Neavling also hosted Muckraker Report on 910AM from September 2017 to July 2018. Before launching Motor City Muckraker,...
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