Susan J. Demas
There are now 4,650 positive cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by a new coronavirus, as of 3 p.m. Saturday, although state officials believe the actual number of cases is much higher. The state reports 111 people have reportedly died of COVID-19.
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 DHHSwebsite or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention website.
Saturday saw the highest one-day increase yet, with 993 new cases and 19 more deaths since Friday. The virus has now spread to 57 of Michigan’s 83 counties — more than two-thirds of them — with the newest addition of Osceola County.
Wayne County continues to be the state’s largest hotspot for the disease. In Detroit alone, which is Michigan’s only city with its own health department, there have been 1,377 cases and 30 deaths reported. Combined with the rest of Wayne County’s numbers, those add up to 2,316 cases and 46 deaths collectively.
Dr. Teena Chopra, the medical director of infection prevention and hospital epidemiology at the Detroit Medical Center, told the Associated Press on Saturday: “At this time, the trajectory of Detroit is unfortunately even more steep than that of New York. This is off the charts.”
Oakland County is not far behind Wayne, however, with a little more than 1,000 cases and 31 deaths. Macomb has around 530 cases, and cases in Washtenaw and Genesee counties have topped 100 apiece.
There have also been 47 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported from Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) facilities, including some in the U.P. These cases have been rising steadily since the state began reporting them separately in recent days.
The new state-reported numbers only recently began incorporating data from other commercial and private labs and hospitals around Michigan, which caused an apparent spike in numbers that speaks more to the number of cases just now being publicly reported.
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.
The World Health Organization reports that there are 571,678 confirmed cases worldwide and 26,495 deaths. In the United States, there are at least 113,031 confirmed cases and 1,895 deaths — now surpassing the number of cases anywhere else, including China.
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