Michigan's COVID-19 death toll reaches 4,670 but positive tests remain low

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Lansing — The number of deaths linked to COVID-19 in Michigan reached 4,674 Tuesday, but testing and case data continued to point to hopeful trends.

The state reported 90 new deaths and 469 new cases Tuesday, the 13th straight day the state had reported fewer than 1,000 new cases, according to data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The state has now confirmed 48,021 cases overall. Of the 90 deaths added Tuesday, 19 were the result of an examination of past death certificates.

Drive-thru coronavirus testing at 1200 N. Telegraph, by appointment, in Pontiac, Michigan on April 16, 2020.

The new figures came a day after Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state's chief medical executive, said the rate of increase for new cases was continuing to slow in Michigan.

The rate of new infections had dropped by 25% in the previous seven days, Khaldun said during a Monday press conference. She also said the state was "on the right trajectory" on the percentage of COVID-19 tests returning positive results.

However, each new infection "has potential to spread to many other people," Khaldun cautioned.

"It is important that the total number of new cases each day continues to go down," she said.

Government officials and health experts are watching both statewide and regional data on hospitalizations, testing, new cases and new deaths to make determinations on when to lift restrictions on businesses and public gatherings.

As of Sunday, the state had experienced 10 straight days with less than 10% of tests performed here returning positive results, according to Department of Health and Human Services data.

The state's tracking data showed 1,422 COVID-19 inpatients on Monday, a 46% decrease from the reported total two weeks earlier.

Michigan ranks seventh nationally for the number cases and fourth for the number of deaths, according to tracking by Johns Hopkins University.

As of Friday, 22,686 Michigan residents were considered "recovered" from COVID-19, meaning they were still alive 30 days after the onset of illness. The Department of Health and Human Services updates the recovery figure once a week.