Michigan reports 2 more COVID-19 deaths as toll drops seven straight weeks

Melissa Nann Burke
The Detroit News

Michigan added two deaths due to the new coronavirus Wednesday, bringing the state's death toll to 6,036. 

The overall death tally includes 5,792 confirmed deaths and 244 probable deaths through Wednesday. Probable deaths are individuals who didn't test positive for the virus but whose death certificate listed COVID-19 disease as a cause of death.

The state Department of Health and Human Services added Wednesday another 204 new COVID cases and 24 new probable cases. The state's cumulative total is 66,497 COVID cases when counting about 6,104 presumptive cases. 

Michigan has seen the number of new cases dropping for four straight weeks, averaging 145 new cases a day over the last week, compared with 178 new cases a day for the previous seven-day period, according to state data. 

Deaths have been falling for seven consecutive weeks. Michigan averaged 12 deaths a day for the last week, down from 21 deaths a day for the previous seven-day period.

A national website tracking the spread of COVID-19 said this week that Michigan is one of two states "on track to contain" the virus, in addition to New York. Both states were among the hardest hit this spring.

COVID Act Now, a group of technologists, epidemiologists, health experts and public policy leaders, tweeted Tuesday that Michigan had moved to its lowest risk category on its warning dashboard for states.

"Cases are steadily decreasing and Michigan’s COVID preparedness meets or exceeds international standards across our key metrics," the site announced, citing the state's low infection rate, widespread testing and sufficient contact tracing.

Statewide hospitalizations for COVID-19 dropped below 375 this week to 343 in-patients on Tuesday, including 210 in critical care and 131 on ventilators, according to state data.

In mid-April, Michigan had 3,900 in the hospital with COVID-19, including nearly 1,500 in critical care and 1,200 patients on ventilators. 

State health officials say nearly 45,000 Michiganians have recovered from COVID-19 through Friday. People are considered recovered if they were confirmed to have the virus and survived 30 days from the onset of the illness. 

Michigan continues at No. 9 in the nation among the states for the number of known COVID-19 cases and ranks sixth for the most deaths, according to tracking by Johns Hopkins University. 


Staff writer Craig Mauger contributed