Michigan reports 19 COVID-19 deaths, over 350 new cases

Michigan announced 19 new coronavirus deaths and confirmed 353 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, which is the state's highest single-day case count since late May.

The number of new cases in the state has plateaued in recent days after declining for weeks. But hospitalizations statewide due to COVID-19 are flat, as is the percentage of those testing positive for the virus — about 2%. 

The average number of new cases for the past week is up to 241 a day from an average of 146 a day for the previous seven days, according to state data. 

The state Department of Health and Human Services has attributed the uptick in Michigan infections to increases in testing and to clusters of contained outbreaks in different parts of the state.

A lab technician extracts a portion of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate during testing at the Chula Vaccine Research Center.

The number of new cases had been dropping for four straight weeks in Michigan, but the increase over the last week halted that trend. Wednesday's daily caseload was the first confirmed count above 300 since June 3.

In addition to the 353 new cases confirmed Thursday, the state health department also reported 81 presumptive cases of COVID-19. 

To date, the state has tallied 68,989 known cases of COVID-19, including 6,683 probable cases, since the disease was first detected in Michigan in March. 

The state's death toll from the disease now stands at 6,133, including 247 probable deaths.

Thursday's new deaths included 18 confirmed deaths and one probable death, which is an individual who never tested positive but whose death certificate listed COVID-19 as a cause of death.

Of the 10 counties that confirmed the most COVID-19 cases per capita since June 1, seven are in West Michigan. 

Leading the list is Oceana County, which went from 87 confirmed cases on June 1 to 210 cases on Thursday, according to state data. The county has a population of about 27,000 people. 

Two counties along the Indiana border, Branch and St. Joseph, added the second and third most cases of COVID-19 per capita since June 1, according to the state's data. 

Hospitals statewide reported 346 inpatients with COVID-19 as of Wednesday, including 195 in critical care and 115 on ventilators. That's compared with 332 inpatients a week ago, including 192 in critical care and 101 on ventilators. 

Michigan ranks ninth in the nation among the states with the most cases of COVID-19 and sixth for the most COVID deaths, according to tracking by Johns Hopkins University.