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Michigan surpasses 5,000 COVID-19 related deaths

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Michigan confirmed 102 deaths tied to the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, surpassing 5,000 deaths related to the virus in the state.

It's the fifth consecutive day that the state had fewer than 800 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 52,350 known cases since reporting began, according to state data. However, the 102 fatalities meant the end of a nine-day streak of fewer than 100 coronavirus-related deaths.

A 50-year-old man at a Beaumont Hospital was the first in the state to die from the virus on March 18, eight weeks ago.

Since then, nearly 80% of all deaths are from Detroit, Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties.

Vehicles check in at the CVS drive-thru COVID-19 rapid testing site at 16301 Michigan Ave. in Dearborn, Friday, April 24, 2020.

Michigan reported 435 new cases Tuesday, down from 773 Monday.

"Case and death trends continue to improve overall as a state," Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said Monday at a press briefing.

The state's overall fatality rate is 10% with the average age of victims being 75.

The state continues to rank seventh in the nation for its number of COVID-19 cases and fourth for deaths with 5,017 total — behind New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts, according to tracking by Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday announced the partial reopening of Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, which has had relatively few cases of COVID-19.

Her plan would reopen retail businesses and offices in those regions starting Friday, including bars and restaurants, which will be required to operate at no more than 50% capacity. 

Those businesses also must train employees on safety protocols, keep groups six feet from one another and require workers to wear face coverings.

Whitmer said she's watched how other states have fared in reopening their economies and recognized that having the confidence of the population is important.

"One of the challenges is, of course, that there is generally a two-week period of time between an action is taken and when you see you know what the result might be in terms of COVID-19 numbers," she said at a Monday press briefing.

"We are watching what other states are doing. We have to craft a plan that's right for Michigan, though. We've had a uniquely tough experience with COVID-19."

Detroit added 15 new deaths Tuesday, for a total of 1,278 coronavirus-related deaths, five fewer than recorded Monday.

The numbers are down significantly when looking at a seven-day comparison: last week, there were 38 deaths in Detroit compared with 69 the previous week. 

The city added 50 confirmed cases on Tuesday, bringing the total cases to 10,444. In the past five days, the city added 216 cases, according to city data.

The number of COVID-positive individuals in Michigan's nursing homes has fallen over the past week and stands at about 2,670.

As of Friday, 28,234 Michigan residents were considered "recovered" from COVID-19, meaning they were still alive 30 days after the onset of illness. The department doesn't have data on recoveries by county.

srahal@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @SarahRahal_