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Michigan adds 3,675 COVID-19 cases, a new record high

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Michigan added 3,675 new COVID-19 cases and 41 more deaths Thursday. That's the most new confirmed cases in a single day during the pandemic for the state.

The additions bring the state's total number of cases to 171,220 and total deaths to 7,298.

Of the Thursday deaths, 22 were identified during a delayed records review.

Statewide network connectivity issues delayed Thursday's data pull past the 10 a.m. deadline. Some cases that would have normally been counted in Friday's totals were also included, the state said.

Michigan's numbers are even higher with probable cases. The state now has 190,043 probable and confirmed cases and 7,653 confirmed and probable deaths, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Thursday's total was higher than the one recorded Saturday, the day the state added 3,338 cases and 35 deaths, the previous high for daily cases.

Ottawa County officials shuttered Libertas Christian School in Hudsonville Thursday, Oct. 23, 2020, "due to COVID-19." The school sued the county and state Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, over threats to close the school over mask usage.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Wednesday the COVID-19 spread the state is experiencing is "very concerning" and people should be "smart" in the coming days, which will bring Halloween and a football game between Michigan State University and the University of Michigan.

"Be smart," Whitmer said during a press briefing Wednesday. "Keep our wits about us. Wear the mask. Don’t host the big event. Sit and watch the game. Have the Zoom call on. Grab the beer. Enjoy it. But stay safe.”

Meanwhile, Michigan restaurants will have to begin tracking the names and numbers of customers in case of COVID-19 outbreaks under a policy announced Thursday.

The state health department unveiled orders that limit non-residential indoor gatherings without fixed seating to 50 people — the limit was 500 — and restricts individual table sizes at restaurants to six people.

Last week saw the state's biggest surge of positive casesduring 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 Wednesday, the state reported 1,348 adults hospitalized with confirmed cases of the virus, which is three times the number a month earlier. Of those hospitalized, 153 people are on ventilators and 371 in intensive care units.

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.

► For subscribers: What Michigan's hospitals are seeing with surge in COVID-19 cases

Whitmer said 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 302 outbreaks, compared with 123 from earlier in the month. Of the outbreaks, 144 were newly added on Oct. 22. 

"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 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.

The increases come as temperatures outside drop, with Halloween and a football game between Michigan State and the University of Michigan this weekend and the presidential election on Tuesday.

"We all lose if we drop our guard now, stop wearing our masks and start spreading COVID and have big parties and events around the game,” Whitmer said.

srahal@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @SarahRahal_