Michigan COVID-19 cases climb to over 12,700, deaths hit 479

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Lansing — The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Michigan reached 12,744 Friday as the death toll jumped to 479.

The data released by the state Department of Health and Human Services showed 62 new deaths and nearly 1,953 new cases, the largest single-day jump in cases that Michigan has seen yet.

However, the 62 new deaths was the lowest 24-hour total the state has reported since Monday. On Thursday, the state reported 80 new deaths.

An electronic billboard in downtown Lansing encourages residents to "stay home" amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told WDET's "Detroit Today" Friday that modeling predicts the apex of COVID-19 in Michigan will come in three to five weeks after she told a Thursday teleconference that the peak could come in late April or early May.

The governor has taken increasingly drastic steps to try to limit the spread of COVID-19 here. After previously closing schools for three weeks and ordering residents to stay in their homes unless they have essential reasons for leaving, Whitmer closed K-12 buildings for the remainder of the school year Thursday.

On Friday, she issued an executive order stating that employers shouldn't discipline employees for staying home if they are "at particular risk of infecting others with COVID-19."

"Staying home and staying safe is one of the most important things we can do to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan, and this executive order will ensure more people can do so without facing discrimination from their workplace," Whitmer said in a statement. "We have taken aggressive measures to protect our communities, but it’s on all of us to work together to fight this virus."

The new numbers from the Department of Health and Human Services came a day after the department released a racial breakdown of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Michigan for the first time. That Thursday breakdown showed that at least 40% of the deceased individuals were black. Less than 14% of the state's population is black.

The Detroit Health Department released figures Friday showing that cases in the city had surged to 3,572 from 2,860 the day prior.

As of Friday's data, 48% of Michigan's COVID-19 cases were in Wayne County, a county with about 17% of the state's population. Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties had 80% of the state's cases.

Those who have died with the virus in Michigan have ranged in age from 20 to 107 years old. The average age has been 71.6 years old. The majority of the deaths, 61%, have been men.

Of Michigan's 83 counties, 70 now have at least one case. The state added two new counties to the list of those with confirmed cases Friday: Luce and Presque Isle.

Laboratories have tested 37,992 specimen for COVID-19 in Michigan, according to numbers released Friday afternoon. Of those, 9,779 tested positive. However, the testing data provided by the state isn't comprehensive of all of the testing happening in the state.