Oakland County man fourth death in Michigan linked to COVID-19

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

A 50-year-old Oakland County man died Friday after being diagnosed with COVID-19, according to a statement from the Oakland County Health Division.

The man, who had underlying health conditions, is the fourth person in Michigan whose death is linked to the coronavirus pandemic and the first in Oakland County. 

The first three deaths involved Wayne County residents with underlying medical conditions. They include a Southgate man in his 50s, a woman in her 50s and an 81-year-old woman, both from Detroit, according to officials on Thursday.

"This is a tragic loss and we share our heartfelt condolences with the family," Oakland County Executive David Coulter said in a statement Friday. "This is also an important reminder of the seriousness of this virus and the importance of personal and community-wide efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus.”

The county did not disclose the man's home town, his underlying conditions or where the man had been hospitalized. 

The county will hold a news conference Saturday to update the public on its cases and response to those cases. Oakland County residents can find updates  at oakgov.com/covid.

Michigan's total number of confirmed positive coronavirus cases reached 549 on Friday, a jump of 225 from the previous day. 

Of the cumulative 549 positive cases across 20 counties, 88% are within the Metro Detroit counties of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb.

Of the total confirmed positive cases, 51% are men and 49% are women. More than three-quarters of those infected are older than 40. 

Since the first positive cases were confirmed on March 10, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has closed K-12 schools, limited gatherings to no more than 50 people and shuttered restaurants and bars — all in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus.

Across the state, hospital, state and commercial labs are processing about 1,000 coronavirus tests a day, including roughly 300 a day at the state lab in Lansing, according to Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun.