Michigan tops 80K COVID-19 cases after lab reports delayed tests

    A researcher works in a lab that is developing testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus at Hackensack Meridian Health Center for Discovery and Innovation on February 28, 2020 in Nutley, New Jersey. The facility develops novel therapies for some of the worlds most difficult diseases. At least 53 countries have reported cases of infection. | Kena Betancur/Getty Images

    The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Wednesday that 80,172 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 6,172 have died from the virus — an additional 996 cases and two deaths since Tuesday.

    DHHS notes that approximately 300 of Wednesday’s new cases, however, are older results that were delayed due to a backlog at a commercial laboratory.

    “These cases will be sorted based on the onset (or specimen collection) date in the Daily Case tab of the dashboard,” the state’s COVID-19 dashboard reads.

    At least five of Wednesday’s new cases from Wayne County have been linked to an indoor wedding reception in Southgate, where more than 100 attended the event at Crystal Gardens Banquet Hall on July 18.

    Local health officials are encouraging attendees of the reception to get tested for COVID-19, call the Wayne County Health Division to report their contacts and to self-quarantine at home.

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    DHHS also notes that an additional 8,802 Michiganders have been identified as “probable” cases for COVID-19, as well as 250 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 88,974 statewide cases and 6,422 deaths.

    After months of being in the top 10 states for most COVID-19 cases and top five for deaths, Michigan has moved down the list and now ranks 14th in total cases per state and eighth in total deaths. The New York Times database combines confirmed and probable numbers in their COVID-19 tracker.

    The virus has been detected in all of Michigan’s 83 counties. The state’s COVID-19 fatality rate has fallen slightly to 7.7%.

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

    Johns Hopkins University reports that there are more than 16.8 million confirmed cases worldwide and 662,222 deaths. One-quarter of those are in the United States, where more than 4.3 million confirmed cases and 149,961 deaths have been recorded.

    Laina G. Stebbins
    Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, immigration and criminal justice. She is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service. When Laina is not writing or listening to podcasts, she loves art and design, discovering new music, being out in nature and spending time with her two very special cats.