Detroit reports 53 new deaths from COVID-19, 8,332 confirmed cases

Christine Ferretti
The Detroit News

Detroit — The hard-hit city continues to endure significant swings in the number of reported deaths related to COVID-19.

Detroit tallied 53 more deaths on Thursday after reporting 17 deaths a day earlier. The city's health department has recorded 786 deaths in total from the respiratory virus since the first case was identified here more than a month ago.

Detroit Chief Public Health Officer Denis Fair

The city on Thursday also reported 227 additional confirmed cases over Wednesday and an overall confirmed case total of 8,332. 

The latest surge in death figures come after the city Wednesday recorded one of its smallest daily increases in recent weeks and as Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan urges city staff and workers of essential businesses to make appointments for testing at a regional site at the former Michigan State Fairgrounds, even if they don't have prescriptions or symptoms. 

The mayor on Wednesday said Detroit received 10 more machines to process its rapid testing kits for the virus. The city was among the first in the country to receive machines and 15-minute testing kits from Illinois-based Abbott Laboratories. The quick tests were used early on to help screen police, firefighters, EMTs and city bus drivers. 

The city is also expected Thursday to complete an aggressive 10-day effort to test staff and patients in all of the 26 nursing home facilities in Detroit.

The facilities have been hard-hit by the virus, accounting for 129 of Detroit's COVID-19 deaths as of Wednesday. 

Detroit's Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair said Wednesday that 357 COVID-positive cases had been identified so far, an infection rate of 26%.

Duggan has said he expects that when the pandemic ends, up to a quarter of the city's victims will have been nursing home residents and staff. 

Four health experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are helping Detroit respond to nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities by developing testing strategy, making site visits and conducting staff training.