Updated, 6:15 p.m. 3/19/20 with updated numbers from the state
The number of known positive cases of COVID-19 in Michigan skyrocketed to 334* cases by Thursday evening, according to adjusted figures released by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). There have been three deaths.
On Wednesday, the state reported 80 known cases of COVID-19, the disease from a new coronavirus — so this is an increase of 254* cases.
A statewide coronavirus hotline is open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1-888-535-6136. Information can be found on the DHHS website or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention website.
There are 279 cases concentrated in Detroit, Wayne County, Macomb County and Oakland County, which compose 84%* of reported cases. COVID-19 has been reported in 19* of Michigan’s 83 counties.
The first deaths were reported Wednesday from COVID-19 in Michigan. The first death reported was a man in his 50s at a Beaumont Hospital in Wayne County; McLaren Oakland Hospital reported a death on Wednesday of a woman in her 50s; and an 81-year-old patient died at Henry Ford Hospital on Wednesday.
DHHS says the large increase is due to test results provided from commercial and clinical labs that recently began providing testing.
“We are pleased to announce that we are now able to provide testing results from hospitals and other entities outside of our state laboratory,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “We knew there were additional people in Michigan with COVID-19 that had not yet been tested. This emphasizes the need to continue to practice social distancing and other community mitigation practices to help slow the spread of this disease.”
DHHS is currently receiving reports from LabCorp, Quest Diagnostics, Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, the Beaumont Hospital Network, Henry Ford Health System and the DHHS Bureau of Laboratories (BOL).
The state reports 2,449 total tests between commercial labs, hospitals and the BOL.
“I think that it is very possible you’ll see an order mandating that sharing of information so that we can have a better handle on this,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Wednesday of private lab data.
She also said at that press conference that she is concerned about the system being overloaded and not having the number of tests that the state believes are necessary.
“We’re still waiting on the federal government to give us more,” Whitmer said.