Michigan reports 26 more COVID deaths; cases exceed 55,000

Melissa Nann Burke
The Detroit News

Michigan reported 26 more deaths Tuesday linked to the novel coronavirus, bringing the state's total to 5,266. 

The state also confirmed 223 new cases of COVID-19 — the fifth consecutive day when new cases fell below 500. With the new cases, the state surpassed 55,000 known cases of COVID-19, reporting 55,104 total since the disease was first detected in Michigan in March, according to state data. 

Michigan has fallen to No. 8 among the states when ranked by the number of known COVID cases, but continues to rank fourth for deaths behind New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts, according to tracking by Johns Hopkins University. 

“This has been a rough 12 weeks," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said at a Tuesday press briefing. "… If we all keep doing our part, we’re hoping that we can continue to announce additional timelines for shifting more regions of the state into Stage 4 soon.”

State officials on Tuesday published a new map of COVID data statewide by region showing publicly available case, death and test data used to determine overall level of risk and trends — information that leaders say they are using to guide decisions to ease restrictions and reopen parts of the state. The map is at MiStartMap.info.

An undated electron microscope image shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S.

Overall as a state, the rate of rise of COVID-19 cases continues to decline, Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said Tuesday.

Regionally, cases are steadily declining in southeast Michigan, southwest Michigan, northern Lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.

The Grand Rapids area is seeing the highest rate of new cases, Khaldun said.

But she cautioned, “Even if cases are low in an area, it does not mean that all of the risk is gone.”

Whitmer on Friday extended her stay-at-home order to June 12. She said retail businesses and auto dealerships will be allowed to reopen starting Tuesday, but visits must be made by appointment.

She also announced the state would lift restrictions on medical, dental and veterinary procedures deemed nonessential starting May 29.

Her recent orders also eased restrictions on social gatherings, allowing for groups of 10 or fewer people, but instituted restrictions on how businesses reopen.

Metro Detroit has accounted for 63% of Michigan's COVID-19 cases and 78% of the state's deaths through Tuesday.


Staff writer Craig Mauger contributed