Michigan reports 37 more COVID deaths as decline trends continue
Michigan on Tuesday added 37 more deaths linked to the new coronavirus, though 11 of those were older deaths identified by comparing death certificate data with the state's registry of laboratory-confirmed cases.
Overall, deaths and new cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, continue to fall in Michigan. The state's death toll stands at 5,553 through Tuesday.
The state reported Tuesday that 199 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, were confirmed in the past 24 hours for a total 57,731 known cases, according to data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
It was the second day in a row that the number of new cases fell below 200.
Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan's chief medical executive, on Monday cited "encouraging trends" with rates of cases declining across the state.
Overall, Michigan is seeing about 12 new cases per million people a day, Khaldun said. About 12% of people tested have tested positive for the disease cumulatively, but in the past two weeks the proportion has been about 5%, she added as another positive sign.
The weeks-long decline in deaths and new cases led Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday to lift Michigan's stay-at-home order and to allow dine-in restaurants, bars, libraries, swimming pools and day camps to reopen with restrictions next week.
She also said groups of up to 100 could again convene outdoors, effective immediately.
"The threat of the disease has not gone away. There's no vaccine. There's no antiviral treatment, and we do not expect to have one for several months. And just one person can still infect many many more people," Khaldun said Monday.
She encouraged those who are most vulnerable to severe disease from COVID-19, including the elderly and those with underlying chronic medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease, should "strongly consider" not going out unless they absolutely have to in order to reduce the risk of exposure.
The totals of new cases and new deaths in the state in May dropped significantly from April.
In May, the state confirmed 16,018 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 1,702 new deaths. The totals were less than half those for the month of April when the state confirmed 33,764 new cases and 3,530 new deaths.
Metro Detroit, including the city and Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, has accounted for 62% of Michigan's COVID-19 cases and 77% of the state's deaths through Tuesday.
Seniors aged 70 and older comprise 69% of COVID deaths in Michigan, with a median age of 77, according to state data.
Michigan ranks eighth across the country in its number of known COVID cases and fifth for deaths behind New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, according to tracking by Johns Hopkins University.
Staff writer Craig Mauger contributed