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Michigan records 22 deaths, over 900 more cases of COVID-19

Melissa Nann Burke
The Detroit News

Michigan confirmed 903 new cases of the novel coronavirus Tuesday and 22 deaths linked to the disease. 

The state's known caseload now stands at 129,826 since the virus was first detected in Michigan in March. The death tally stands at 6,838, according to tracking by the state Department of Health and Human Services. 

When probable cases are included, Michigan's total rises to 142,726 cases and 7,239 deaths, according to state data.

Tuesday's deaths included seven older deaths identified during a review of vital records, according to the department. These deaths might have occurred days or weeks ago.

In this undated photo provided by Johnson & Johnson in September 2020, a woman receives an injection during phase 3 testing for the Janssen Pharmaceutical-Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the United States. On Friday, a U.S. advisory panel made recommendations for who should be first in line to get COVID-19 vaccine, including a plea for special efforts by states and cities to get the shots to low-income minority groups.

The state health department on Monday issued an order to keep in place mask requirements, limitations on social gatherings and restrictions on restaurant and bar operations following a Friday court ruling that struck down Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's previous public health orders to combat COVID-19.

Agency Director Robert Gordon on Tuesday handed down two more emergency orders, including one that requires K-12 schools to notify the public of probable and confirmed cases of COVID-19 within 24 hours. 

Statewide, six Michigan counties are at the highest risk level for COVID-19, and all are in the Upper Peninsula, according to the Harvard Global Health Institute.

The counties are Baraga, Delta, Dickinson, Houghton, Iron and Menominee. Of those, Iron County had the highest rate of infection over the past week, with an average 106 new cases a day per 100,000 people, followed by Delta County with an average 96 new cases a day per 100,000. 

The Upper Peninsula reported few coronavirus cases early in the pandemic, but last week state officials flagged the region for some of the highest case rates statewide.

The case rate in the U.P., when adjusted for time lag, was at 283 absolute cases per million and a 5.1% positivity rate as of Friday, officials said. For comparison, the statewide case rate in Michigan was at 76 absolute cases per million. A positivity rate above 3% is concerning to public health officials.

The Upper Peninsula has averaged two coronavirus deaths a day over the last week, according to state data.

As of Monday, hospitals in the region reported 29 COVID inpatients with confirmed or suspected cases, 10 in intensive care and none on a ventilator. 

mburke@detroitnews.com