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Michigan confirms 7 coronavirus deaths, more than 380 new cases

Melissa Nann Burke
The Detroit News

Michigan reported seven coronavirus deaths Monday and 384 new cases, as stronger laws on mask wearing went into effect statewide.

Michigan is seeing an increase in the number of known cases of the disease COVID-19, with a seven-week high for new infections last week, with the total exceeding 3,400.

The average number of new cases for the past seven days ending Monday was up to 507 a day from an average of 382 a day for the previous seven-day period, according to state data. 

Reported deaths and hospitalizations due to the disease remain relatively low compared to the spring, but deaths were at a four-week high with 95 total last week. 

The state health department confirmed 69,722 cases of COVID-19 and 6,075 deaths through Monday. When probable cases are added, Michigan's case total reaches 77,198 and the death toll is 6,321. 

In addition to the 384 cases confirmed Monday, the state reported 38 probable cases.

Medical centers have not yet reported a major spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations in Michigan, with 388 inpatients with COVID as of Monday, including 205 in critical care and 113 on ventilators.

That’s a 22% increase compared to a week ago when hospitals statewide reported 317 COVID inpatients, including 179 in critical care and 99 on ventilators. In mid-April, Michigan had 3,900 hospitalized with COVID-19.

The positivity rate in Michigan — the percentage of those testing positive for the virus out of those tested overall —  grew from 2% in recent weeks to to 3.4% last week, which is a six-week high. It was reported at 3.14% Saturday.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday issued an executive order requiring masks to be worn in crowded outdoor spaces. Also, any business open to the public must refuse service to people who won't wear face coverings, with limited exceptions. 

Beaumont Health technologist Jacqueline Watson prepares COVID-19 test specimens at a laboratory.

Willful violations of the new order, which takes effect Monday, can bring misdemeanor penalties, potentially a $500 fine.

Whitmer in issuing the order said face coverings can reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19 by about 70%, and that wearing them would save lives.

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist on Sunday cited concerns about the direction of the virus data.

"We're proud that the people of Michigan stepped up in the beginning and really did what they needed to do to be able to slow the growth of our curve," Gilchrist said on CNN.

"It enabled us to be able to reengage some activities very carefully, but as these cases pick up we're concerned ... We've been seeing these sort of individual events that have led to the spread happening in preventable ways."

Gilchrist noted the nearly 200 coronavirus cases that were linked to the East Lansing bar, Harper's Brew and Pub. 

Health officials in northwest Lower Michigan have asked people who celebrated the Fourth of July on the sandbar at Torch Lake to self-monitor for COVID-19 after several of the people who partied there tested positive for the coronavirus. 

And more than 40 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Washtenaw County have been traced to an early July house party in Saline, according to the county's health department. 

mburke@detroitnews.com

Staff writer Craig Mauger contributed