Michigan reports spike of 982 COVID-19 cases, on track for 13K deaths by Jan. 1

    COIVD Act Now map of risk levels, Sept. 4, 2020

    The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Friday that 105,377 total Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 6,526 have died from the virus — an additional 982 cases and seven deaths since Thursday.

    DHHS also reports that an additional 10,918 Michiganders have been identified as “probable” cases for COVID-19, as well as 272 probable deaths. The department began tracking probable cases on April 5.

    After combining the state’s confirmed positive cases with probable cases, the total is 116,295 statewide cases and 6,798 deaths. 

    Michigan’s disease growth is slow, according to COVID Act Now’s national map. The state is not currently at risk of or experiencing large active outbreaks. Widespread testing is occurring, ICUs are likely able to handle a new wave of infections and the state’s COVID-19 preparedness meets international standards, according to COVID Act Now.

    Whitmer extends state of emergency

    However, Michigan is not yet classified as “green,” or on track to contain COVID-19. Contact tracing is still low. The state experiences an average of 700 new cases a day and Michigan needs about 3,500 contact tracers, but has 1,050 — which COVID Act Now says is insufficient for successfully identifying and isolating sources and spreaders of disease.

    The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington says Michigan fatalities will grow to 12,883 by Jan. 1 based on its current projection scenario. That number increases to more than 17,000 if the state eases COVID-19 restrictions. 

    IHME also projects that U.S. fatalities will grow to 410,451 by Jan. 1 if no further action is taken against COVID-19 transmission and masks are not universally mandated. 

    If current health mandates are eased, the number of deaths could reach 620,000. 

    IHME COVID-19 projection for Michigan, Sept. 4, 2020

    Global fatalities will reach more than 2.8 million fatalities by the start of 2021, according to IHME. If health mandates are eased, that number rises to just over four million deaths.

    The virus has been detected in all of Michigan’s 83 counties. The state’s COVID-19 fatality rate is currently at 6.2%.

    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 more than 26.4 million confirmed cases worldwide and more than 870,790 deaths. About one-quarter of those are in the United States, where about 6.1 million confirmed cases and 187,200 deaths have been recorded.

    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.