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Michigan has highest single day of COVID cases since April

Sarah Rahal Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Michigan added 1,313 cases and nine deaths from COVID-19 Friday, the highest daily count since April 24.

The additions bring the state's total number of cases to 110,832 and the death toll to 6,578.

With probable cases included, Michigan has had 122,251 cases and 6,900 deaths, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 

In the past week, Michigan has added 6,434 cases and 59 deaths, according to the state. Deaths have decreased, from 90 in the previous week, while cases have increased from 4,805. 

Over the last seven days, Michigan has averaged 779 new cases per day. That rate is up over the previous seven-day period, which was 671 new cases per day. 

Over the first 11 days of September, the state has confirmed more 17% more cases than it did over the first 11 days of August. 

Wayne County has the most cases with 31,065 and 2,771 deaths; Oakland County has 15,495 cases and 1,134 deaths; Macomb County has 3,108 cases and 953 deaths; Kent County has 8,207 cases and 168 deaths, and Genesse County has 3,342 cases and 279 deaths as of Friday.

While there are signs the number of new COVID-19 cases is inching upward in Michigan, according to the state's data, state health officials say Friday's single-day spike in cases does not necessarily represent a trend.

"It takes a while to analyze the referrals, to collect information on critical factors like onset date that really best describe the status," said Bob Wheaton, spokesman for the MDHHS. 

"We have seen an increase in testing, which is good, and that could contribute. We will continue to closely monitor the data as we always do and look for trends based on data for a week or longer."

The virus has moved across the state since March, reaching from bustling Metro Detroit to the most western areas of the rural Upper Peninsula. Outbreaks have hit college towns and nursing homes. The spread could have been limited if residents more closely followed the guidance of health officials, medical experts have said.

Health officials have emphasized the continued threat of the virus this fall as temperatures drop, people move more gatherings indoors and schools reopen.

While hospitalizations and deaths have dropped in recent months, the virus is still moving across Michigan as hundreds of new cases are still confirmed each day. One health official described it as a slowly spreading wave.

There have been outbreaks tied to farms, nursing homes and bars, like Harper's near Michigan State University in Ingham County, to which health officials linked about 200 COVID-19 cases in July. More than 200 cases have been tied to the return of students last month at Central Michigan University, and more than 120 students have tested positive at MSU since students returned last month.

Of those infected, the statewide fatality rate has dropped from 9.5% in June to 6.0% as of Friday. 

In Detroit, there are a total of 14,019 cases and 1,518 fatalities. The city has added four deaths from the virus this week.

As of Wednesday, 643 Michigan residents were hospital inpatients with the virus, and 76 were on ventilators and 187 in intensive care units.

Of the 61 outbreaks in the last two weeks, 15 have been at long-term care facilities and five have been at restaurants. Additionally, social gatherings including birthday parties, graduations, funerals and weddings have contributed to six outbreaks, according to the state.

In long-term care facilities, 8,289 residents and 4,479 staff members have confirmed cases. More than 6,300 are recovering. Since March, 2,124 residents and 21 staff members have died from the virus.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Wednesday that the state, which reported its first cases of COVID-19 six months ago, is still in the "relatively early phases" of fighting the virus.

More than 80,600 people in the state have recovered from the virus.

srahal@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @SarahRahal_