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Detroit's northwest side — near Sinai-Grace — hardest hit with coronavirus

Christine Ferretti
The Detroit News

Detroit — The city's northwest side is among the areas hardest-hit with the coronavirus, with the most reported cases, according to newly released data broken down by ZIP code. 

The 48235 ZIP code, which includes the Detroit Medical Center's hard-hit Sinai-Grace Hospital, has the highest concentration of cases with 726 people testing positive. The neighboring 48219 ZIP code has the second highest, with 555 cases.

The city of Detroit released the data late Friday and updated with new numbers on Saturday.

Detroit coronavirus cases by zip code as of April 18, 2020.

The area around the GM Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant — ZIP code 48211 — is one of the areas with the least number of confirmed cases, 46. Four other ZIP codes in Detroit — 48239 (near Rouge Park), 48216 (Corktown), 48226 (downtown) and 48236 (East English Village) — all have below 50 confirmed cases, according to the data. 

At least 62% of cases and 77% of deaths in Detroit were African American, the data shows. 

MORE: Whitmer: Regulators investigating reports of Sinai-Grace bodies

MORE: Inside Sinai-Grace ‘war zone’: ‘We started to run out of body bags’

Detroit's Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair said Friday that once the city shares its daily figures they continue to change dramatically, because in a pandemic, "this is always an evolving situation."

"Determining death rates is always challenging because it's estimated that there are upwards of 10 people with undetected infections for every confirmed case and in some communities estimates are even higher," Fair said Friday. "The numbers are just a gauge. It's a snapshot in time. There's plenty that we don't know and we're continuing to learn."

On Sunday, the Detroit Health Department reported an overall confirmed case total of 7,605 — 108 more positive cases over Saturday. The death toll for the city by Sunday was 605, up from 590 total deaths on Saturday. 

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, during a Friday news conference, said the city is about to move into "a whole new phase on testing."

Suburban areas, he noted, have now opened up some of their own testing, which has taken pressure off of Detroit's site at the former Michigan State Fairgrounds. In turn, the city-based drive-thru site has capacity to test people without symptoms, which it wasn't able to do before. 

Residents with symptoms are top priority, but "to get this city back on its feet, we're going to need to have broader testing," the mayor said, adding testing will expand Monday to employees of essential businesses in Detroit. 

The mayor has said that the people of Detroit have embraced social distancing and that hospitals are reporting that their case loads are beginning to ease.

Separately, the TCF Center downtown currently has 20 patients. Five others have been discharged, either to return home to complete their recovery or transfer back to a hospital, Michelle Grinnell, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Economic Development Corp., said in a Saturday email to The News. 

The overflow site is set up to take in up to 1,000, if needed. 

cferretti@detroitnews.com