Michigan reports eight new cases of COVID-19, totaling 33

Karen Bouffard Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Eight new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed by state health officials late Saturday, bringing the total of presumptive positive cases in Michigan to 33.

The announcement came as several local hospitals say they are now treating patients with the novel coronavirus.

The latest specimens will be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation testing, state health officials said.

Michigan's cases appear to have some commonalities, with all but a few involving recent international or domestic travel. The cases also all seem to involve largely middle-age patients who are in isolation at home or in a hospital.

The new cases include:

  • A man from Detroit with a history of domestic travel and contact with someone with a confirmed case.
  • A man from Oakland County with a history of domestic travel.
  • An Oakland County man with an unknown travel history.
  • A woman in Oakland County with a history of contact with someone with a confirmed case.
  • A man in Macomb County with no known travel history and no known contact with someone with a confirmed case.
  • A woman in Monroe County with a history of domestic travel.
  • A woman in Wayne County with an unknown travel history and no known contact with someone with a confirmed case.
  • A woman in Washtenaw County with a history of contact with someone with a confirmed case.

COVID-19 symptoms can appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus. They include a fever, cough and shortness of breath. 

Earlier Saturday, Beaumont Health announced it was treating its first COVID-19 patient at its hospital in Dearborn. The health system immediately banned most visitation at its eight hospitals to mitigate spread to its patients, staff and members of the public. 

Henry Ford Health System reported its first three patients on Friday, saying two were discharged to home quarantine on Friday, with the discharge of the third expected on Saturday. 

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The statewide increase to 33 positive cases reported by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services late Saturday comes as a response to an epidemic that has taken on new intensity across the region. 

The Oakland County Health Division ordered all establishment with a food service license, as well as gyms and entertainment venues, to cut their occupancy in half. The mandate excludes health care and long-term care facilities as well as grocery stores.

State law gives county health officers the authority to issue such orders, the county's health division noted in a press release late Saturday. 

The Health Division issued printable signs for venues to post on their doors to notify customers of the capacity restriction. The signs can be downloaded at oakgov.com/health.

In Dearborn, information was not immediately available on the age, gender, travel history of Beaumont's first COVID-19 inpatient, or where the patient lives. The patient was in good condition Saturday evening and has been isolated to reduce the risk of exposure to others.

The eight-hospital health system with 3,429 beds across Metro Detroit immediately suspended most visitation at all of its hospitals — effective 6 a.m. Sunday —  to protect patients and health care workers. 

"Beaumont is following CDC guidelines and screening protocols while maintaining standard infection control best practices," the health system said in a press release late Saturday. "Beaumont also remains in close communication with state and county public health officials to monitor the spread of the virus."

The ban on visitors will continue until further notice, except in end-of-life situations, for mothers in labor, for pediatric patients or babies in the neonatal intensive care unit or patients undergoing surgery. Decisions on exceptions in other extenuating circumstances will be made on an individual basis. 

Beaumont Hospital Dearborn.

News of the patient in Dearborn came as Beaumont launched curbside COVID-19 testing Saturday at four of its hospitals: Royal Oak, Dearborn, Farmington Hills and Troy. Officials did not disclose if the curbside testing would be continuously offered.

Hospital officials also said not everyone who drives to the hospitals will be tested. Patients have to meet specific criteria and have a respiratory illness or be mildly sick.

Beaumont officials say most cases can be treated at home without seeking medical help. While currently there is no vaccine or medication to prevent or cure the virus, according to the World Health Organization, 80% of people who contract COVID-19 recover without requiring hospitalization.

"Many of those who develop COVID-19 can self-treat at home with lots of fluids, rest and over-the-counter medications, like pain relievers," said Dr. Nick Gilpin, Beaumont Health’s medical director of Infection Prevention and Epidemiology, in a press release.

"Older adults with underlying health concerns or those with a compromised immune system who suspect they might be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their doctor."

Also on Saturday, the Detroit Medical Center announced its launch of an after-hours COVID-19 hotline that will be available from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m., seven days a week for those with questions regarding COVID-19. The number is 1-888-DMC-3370.

Beaumont also offers a COVID-19 hotline, (248) 551-7000, staffed by Beaumont nurses every day. The line is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.


Twitter: @kbouffardDN


Twitter: @SarahRahal_