New: First Michigan person dies of COVID-19

By: - March 18, 2020 1:48 pm

Image of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the disease that flared in Wuhan, China, in late December | National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rocky Mountain Lab

The first person in Michigan died of complications due to COVID-19 early Wednesday morning at a Beaumont Hospital in Wayne County, the hospital announced.

The man was in his 50s. Michigan has 80 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by a new coronavirus, as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The World Health Organization reports there are 193,475 confirmed cases worldwide and 7,864 deaths. In the United States, there are 4,356 confirmed cases and 79 deaths.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is slated to give an update at 4 p.m. Wednesday on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Advance will have more later today on this and actions the state is taking in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 21-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 4,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 70 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.