Michigan reports fewer than 100 coronavirus deaths for fourth consecutive day

click to enlarge Beaumont Health in Royal Oak. - Beaumont Health
Beaumont Health
Beaumont Health in Royal Oak.

For four straight days, Michigan reported fewer than 100 new coronavirus deaths.

The state’s death toll rose to 4,250, up 71 in the past day. Michigan averaged 83 deaths per day in the past week. This is the third week in a row that the average number of new deaths declined.

For 20 straight days, the number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital has dropped. There are now 1,818 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, down from 3,986 on April 12. During the same period, the number of patients on a ventilator dropped 55%, from 1,365 to 617.

Another sign of progress is the declining rate of people who are testing positive. In early April, about 40% of the people who were tested had COVID-19. That rate has dropped to 8%.

The number of new cases and deaths are falling more rapidly in metro Detroit than anywhere else in the state. In early April, Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne counties accounted for more than 60% of the daily new cases. On Wednesday, the three counties made up just 42% of the new cases.

The west side of the state is seeing the largest increases in confirmed infections. In Kent County, the largest county outside of metro Detroit, the number of positive cases nearly doubled in the past 10 days, from 1,100 to 2,016. Bordering Ottawa County saw its confirmed infections increase 64%, from 191 to 313, during the same period.

In Kalamazoo, the number of new cases rose 96%. Berrien County saw a 59% increase, and Muskegon reported a 43% spike in the past 10 days.

By comparison, metro Detroit's new cases increased 10.5% during the same period.

State-run jails are also experiencing a significant rise in new cases and deaths. Over the past 10 days, the number of new cases among inmates nearly doubled, from 1,048 to 1,936. During the same period, the number of deaths jumped from 37 to 48. Inmates filed a class-action lawsuit last week, accusing the Michigan Department of Corrections of failing to adequately protect them.

Detroit reported 27 new coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, bringing its total to 1,128. New York City and Detroit have the same number of COVID-19 deaths per capita — 165.8 per 100,000 residents.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan credited abundant and quick testing for the dramatic decline in new deaths.

“We didn’t have time to blame anybody with what’s at stake for the African American community,” Duggan said at a news conference Wednesday. “Blaming was a waste of time.”

At the makeshift field hospital at the TCF Center in downtown Detroit, which was designed to house as many as 1,000 COVID-19 patients, there’s only one patient, Duggan said.

“It’s a great accomplishment for everybody in this city,” the mayor said.

The city has tested every nursing-home resident and is now requiring all grocery-store workers to get tested. At the former Michigan State Fairgrounds, the city is testing roughly 1,500 people a day, including asymptomatic employees who interact with the public.

The city’s success with testing was featured on The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC on Tuesday.

Wayne County reported 180 new cases and 28 new deaths in the past day. The county now has 17,571 positive cases and 1,973 deaths.

Oakland County reported 51 new cases and two new deaths. The county now has 7,573 confirmed cases and 774 deaths.

Macomb County reported 43 new cases and 15 new deaths. The county now has 5,832 positive cases and 662 deaths.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is slowly reopening the economy, beginning with the construction industry this week. She said it may be another two weeks before the next sector is reopened to avoid a second surge in infections.

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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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