Michigan confirms nearly 600 new infections as caseload plateaus

Melissa Nann Burke
The Detroit News

Michigan confirmed three coronavirus deaths and 594 new cases of the disease COVID-19 on Friday, as the state's caseload continued to plateau amid stricter mask requirements.

The seven-day average of new coronavirus cases in the state fell again Friday to 577 a day, down from a 601 daily average for the previous seven-day period, according to state data.

A sign identifies a parking space for those seeking COVID-19 testing at a McLaren urgent care facility in Lansing on Friday, July 17, 2020.

In addition, the state reported 47 probable cases and 2 probable deaths, which are people who never tested positive for the virus but whose death certificate listed COVID-19 as the cause of death.

Last week's total infections were an 11-week high for new cases with 4,232 new cases, but this week is looking like it might end with fewer known infections.

The state's overall tally reached 76,541 known cases Friday, and the death count is at 6,151, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. When probable cases are added, the state's total is 85,072 cases and 6,400 deaths.

The percentage of positive tests in Michigan has been gradually increasing since June. Last week, about 3.5% of the tests were positive. So far this week, 3.69% of tests have been positive through Thursday, according to data from the state health department. 

Hospitalizations due to the disease are higher than this time last month, with hospitals reporting 481 COVID inpatients statewide as of Friday, including 197 in critical care and 113 on ventilators.

That's a 31% increase in inpatients over two weeks ago when hospitals reported 366 inpatients with COVID-19, 182 in critical care and 99 on ventilators. Michigan had 3,900 hospitalized with the disease in mid-April.

Michigan this week fell one spot to No. 14 among the states for its number of COVID-19 cases but continues to rank seventh for the number of deaths linked to the virus, according to tracking by Johns Hopkins University.