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Michigan's death toll from COVID-19 nears 3,800

Leonard N. Fleming
The Detroit News

State officials reported 119 new coronavirus deaths Thursday, an increase of 16 from a day before as Michigan's toll climbed to 3,789 fatalities.

Michigan also reported 980 daily cases of COVID-19, down slightly from 1,137 the day before.

There are now 41,379 total confirmed cases in the state, up from 40,399, state statistics show.

The death total continued to climb in Michigan even as the daily case load decreased.

"Deaths will always lag behind case reports," said Lynn Sutfin, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. "We continue to work on reviewing death certificates and comparing them to our confirmed cases three times weekly to include those in our counts, which is increasing that count."

Michigan has the third most deaths behind New York and New Jersey based on data tracked by Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center. 

There are more than 61,000 people who have died in the United States of the novel coronavirus.

Of Michigan's cases, about 71% have occurred in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, with 81% of the state's fatalities being recorded in Metro Detroit.

In Detroit, Mayor Mike Duggan touted a sustained downward trend in COVID-19 related deaths among Detroit residents.

There have been 1,036 deaths in the city from COVID-19 as of Thursday, an increase of 28 from Wednesday, Duggan said. The mayor noted that 248 coronavirus deaths occurred in the city three weeks ago, 271 deaths two weeks ago, 192 deaths last week and 92 deaths in the past seven days.

The increase in Michigan COVID-19 deaths happened as more protesters descended on the state Capitol building in Lansing to push Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to open up the state faster. 

The governor said on Wednesday that the construction industry could resume work May 7 but state lawmakers on Thursday refused to approve an extension of the state's emergency declaration, with Republican leaders saying the economy should be reopened faster.


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