2nd Wayne County sheriff's staff member dies from virus

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A second Wayne County sheriff's staff member has died from COVID-19, representatives announced Friday.

The 51-year-old deputy had tested positive on March 27, the sheriff's office said in a statement.

He was hospitalized that same day and had been placed on a ventilator, according to the notice.

The deputy, a married 16-year veteran who worked in the Division 1 jail, was pronounced dead at 4 p.m. Friday at Garden City Hospital, the sheriff's office said. Other details, including his name, were not immediately released.

His death came a week after Cmdr. Donafay Collins, 63, who was with the sheriff's office almost 30 years, died from the virus March 25. He worked at the Division 2 jail downtown and had underlying health issues, officials reported last week.

Commander Donafay Collins was 63

The county said as many as 60 staffers had tested positive as of Friday, but no inmates amid quarantining of new arrivals.

The sheriff's office has given N95 masks and face shields to all jail staff, Robert Dunlap, chief of jails and courts for the department, told The Detroit News.

The second death coincides with soaring COVID-19 cases and fatalities across the state and region.

Through Friday, Michigan reached 12,744 confirmed cases as the death toll jumped to 479.

In Detroit, confirmed cases of coronavirus climbed by more than 700 in 24 hours, rising to 3,752. Authorities have reported 116 deaths.

The city has said it expects more cases here amid aggressive testing efforts through a regional site at the former Michigan State Fairgrounds. Mayor Mike Duggan has said he expects the site will conduct at least 14,000 tests for COVID-19 over the next six weeks.