Michigan adds 3,271 COVID-19 cases, 18 more deaths

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Michigan added 3,271 new COVID-19 cases and 18 more deaths Wednesday.

The additions bring the state's total number of cases to 167,545 and total deaths to 7,257. 

Hand sanitizer and masks are displayed throughout the church as wearing masks is required to attend public mass. 
Approximately 35 worshippers attend one of the first public daily masses at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in downtown Detroit, Tuesday afternoon, May 19, 2020, since the state lockdown from COVID-19, as Father Mario Amore conducts the mass.

Michigan's numbers are even higher with probable cases. The state now has 185,934 probable and confirmed cases and 7,606 confirmed and probable deaths, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The state added a record 3,338 cases and 35 deaths Saturday, surpassing the single-day record of 2,030 set on Oct. 15. It added another 6,248 new COVID-19 cases and 57 deaths between Sunday and Tuesday.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan's chief medical executive and chief deputy for health, said in a statement Saturday, "if rates continue like this, we risk overwhelming our hospitals and having many more Michiganders die.” 

“The data shows we are continuing to see alarming increases in the incidence of COVID-19 infections in Michigan," Khaldun said. “It is now more important than ever that people take this seriously. Wear a mask every time you are going to be around someone outside of your own household. Avoid large gatherings and maintain a safe distance from others.

The state said while the data represent the information from reporting labs, it does represent more current trends in disease occurrence. More than 96% of test results reported Saturday originated from tests in the past five days, the department said.

"As information is collected by Michigan’s public health community that better describes cases, we are continuing to see clusters of illness associated with facilities, programs and schools. These cases, along with a large number of community-acquired cases, have been contributing to the elevation in reports of confirmed COVID-19 infection," Khaldun said.

Last week saw the state's biggest surge of positive cases during the pandemic when Michigan had 13,129 confirmed cases of the virus, breaking the record set the week prior. Before then, the previous weekly high was 9,768 set April 5 through April 11.

While testing for the virus has increased greatly, Michigan is also seeing upticks in hospitalizations and deaths linked to the virus.

As of Tuesday, the state reported 1,234 adults hospitalized with confirmed cases of the virus, which is three times the number a month earlier. Of those hospitalized, 140 people are on ventilators.

During last week, Michigan reported 172 new deaths, the most reported in a week since May 31-June 6, when there were 188 deaths.

At the height of the pandemic, 966 deaths were reported during the week of April 19-25.

Whitmer added that cases spiked in the first week of October after the Michigan Supreme Court issued its ruling that the governor violated her constitutional authority by continuing to issue orders to combat COVID-19 without the approval of state lawmakers.

Local health departments are investigating 393 outbreaks, compared with 123 from earlier in the month.

"Top categories for outbreaks remain long-term care facilities, educational settings and social gatherings," Khaldun said last week. "We're also seeing many tied to religious gatherings. We now know of 18 new and ongoing outbreaks that local health departments are investigating."

► More: Whitmer, Khaldun note uptick in COVID outbreaks related to religious services

More than 75,000 tests were completed in Michigan Sunday and Monday, and of the tests, 38,000 returned negative, giving Michigan a 6.4% positivity rating, which hadn't been reached since May.

Long-term health care facilities continue to face consistent hurdles. As of Oct. 21, 9,185 residents have confirmed cases, and 2,222 residents have died. While deaths have slowed over the past two months, there has been an uptick of staff members infected: 5,424 compared with 4,100 in August.

The Michigan health department recently issued an order allowing indoor visitation by appointment at long-term care facilities if a facility has had no new cases within 14 days and if COVID-19 prevalence in a county in which a facility is located falls within permissible boundaries. 

As of Friday, 115,000 people were considered "recovered."

Michigan's schools have recorded 30 new outbreaks as of Monday. Of the outbreaks, 29 were at K-12 schools. See an updated list of school outbreaks online.


Twitter: @SarahRahal_