State reports 5 more deaths, 314 cases Sunday linked to COVID-19

Kim Kozlowski Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

Michigan announced on Sunday that five people died due to complications from the coronavirus for a total of 5,223 deaths statewide since the pandemic began.

The state also said there are 314 new COVID-19 cases for a total of 54,365 cases.

City officials on Sunday reported 1,322 total deaths from the virus since the pandemic began, with 30 new cases for a total of 10,722 cases.

It is not uncommon for Sunday death tallies to be artificially lower due to fewer staff on the weekend processing death certificates. Additionally, it is a holiday weekend.

Coronavirus testing on the former grounds of the Michigan State Fair grounds in Detroit, Michigan on March 30, 2020.

The updates come days after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended a controversial stay-at-home order Friday evening until June 12, even though many critics have protested and called on her to loosen restrictions more quickly. Whitmer has stood by her decisions, saying they are to protect health and limit the virus' spread.

On Friday, she lifted restrictions on gatherings of 10 people or less, retail businesses and car dealerships, starting May 26. She also announced the state would lift restrictions on medical, dental and veterinary procedures deemed nonessential starting May 29.

Whimer has also lifted restrictions that allow some business to return to work including construction, real estate and people whose work is conducted mostly outdoors. 

Restaurants, bars and stores also were allowed to open in the Upper Peninsula and northern Michigan as of Friday.

Sunday's state update comes one day after the state announced a change in the way it reports testing, by separating diagnostic tests, used to determine active cases of COVID-19 — and serology tests, used to determine whether someone had coronavirus and developed antibodies during recovery.

Previously, the numbers in Michigan and other states had been lumped together on the state testing page.

In the past nine days, as serology or antibody tests have become more common, the combined tallies in the testing breakdown inflated the percent positive rate in Michigan but did not change the daily new case tally in Michigan, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

About 12% of the state’s tests have been serology tests, with 60% occurring in the last nine days.

However, “Michigan’s overall percentage of positive tests since the beginning of the outbreak remains virtually the same — changing from 14.2 percent positive tests to 14.3 percent,” the state said.