Michigan reports 657 new COVID-19 cases, 99 outbreaks last week

    COVID-19 | NIAID-RML

    The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Wednesday that 84,707 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 6,221 have died from the virus — an additional 657 cases and two deaths since Tuesday.

    DHHS also notes that an additional 9,186 Michiganders have been identified as “probable” cases for COVID-19, as well as 257 probable deaths. The department began tracking probable cases on April 5.

    Combining the state’s confirmed positive cases with probable cases brings the total up to 93,893 statewide cases and 6,478 deaths.

    Dr. Joneigh Khaldun gives an update on COVID-19 | Gov. Whitmer office photo

    At a Wednesday COVID-19 media briefing, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun — the state’s chief medical executive — said there’s some good news: Michigan’s percent of tests that are positive is now trending down. It’s at 3.4%, down from 3.7% the previous week. She noted hospitalizations and deaths continue to remain “steady and low.”

    “These are all good signs, and we will continue to monitor these metrics,” Khaldun said. “But as we all know, even if a trend is stabilizing, it only takes a few people to create an outbreak and have the disease spread rapidly.”

    The plateau in cases and deaths is not a reason to let guards down, she added. She pointed to a number of outbreaks occurring in nursing homes, schools, colleges and at social gatherings across the state. DHHS identified 99 new outbreaks last week — up from 78 new outbreaks the week before. 

    “We’re seeing way too many outbreaks, and our cases are not getting low enough to think we can let our guard down, even for a moment,” Khaldun said. 

    The first two cases of COVID-19 were reported in the state on March 10. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency that day.

    Johns Hopkins University reports that there are 18.6 million confirmed cases worldwide and 702,330 deaths. In the United States, there are 4.7 million confirmed cases and 157,416 deaths.

    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.

    C.J. Moore
    C.J. Moore covers the environment and the Capitol. She previously worked at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland as a public affairs staff science writer. She also previously covered crop sustainability and coal pollution issues for Great Lakes Echo. In addition, she served as editor in chief at The State News and covered its academics and research beat. She is a journalism graduate student at Michigan State University.