Michigan's COVID-19 deaths double in three days; over 1,100 new cases added in one day

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Lansing — The number of reported COVID-19 deaths in Michigan spiked by 75 on Tuesday, the largest increase in coronavirus deaths here in a 24-hour period yet.

The previous high was set the day before when the state reported 52 new deaths.

Michigan now has 7,615 confirmed coronavirus cases overall — up 1,117 from Monday — and 259 total deaths, according to numbers from the Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday.

In three days, the number of deaths in the state has more than doubled. As of one week ago, the state had reported 24 deaths.

Coronavirus virus testing at the North entrance of Beaumont hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan on March 31, 2020.

The newly disclosed deaths were heavily concentrated in Metro Detroit. Of the 75 newly reported deaths, 70 of them, 93%, were in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties.

Overall, 81% of the state's COVID-19 cases are in the those three counties, according to the new state data.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state's chief medical executive, predicted Monday that the number of cases in Michigan wouldn't peak for "several weeks." The state, she said, was still in the "early stages" of the virus's impact.

"We know our hospitals are going to need more beds," Khaldun said. "We’re going to need thousands more ventilators. And a lot of people are going to get sick."

Michigan continued to rank fourth among all U.S. states for the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday afternoon, according to the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center. Michigan was behind New York, New Jersey and California.

Wayne County continued to rank among the top 10 counties nationally for cases, according to the tracking. As of Tuesday, the county, which has about 17% of the state's population, had 49% of the COVID-19 cases.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, flagged Detroit on Monday as one of the cities that federal officials are concerned about.

"Detroit is starting to show some signs that they're going to take off," Fauci said during an appearance on "Good Morning America."

The Detroit Health Department reported nearly two dozen more COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, pushing its total number of deaths to 73 and 2,086 confirmed cases. But the state health department reported 75 cumulative deaths and 2,080 confirmed cases of the virus.

Under the latest data from the state, 67 of Michigan's 83 counties now have at least one case. The new counties are Arenac, Branch, Chippewa, Oscoda and Schoolcraft.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported Tuesday that at least 24,943 specimen have been tested for COVID-19 statewide, but the number doesn't reflect all of the testing that's happened here. Of those tests, 5,861 were positive.