A 1st: Michigan sees 100+ COVID-19 deaths in a day

By: and - April 6, 2020 3:38 pm

The Spirit of Detroit now dons a face mask, April 6, 2020 | Ken Coleman

COVID-19 cases in Michigan climbed up Monday to 17,221, an increase of 1,503 cases since Sunday. 

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.

The number of deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by a new coronavirus reached 727, with 110 new deaths reported Monday. This is the highest number of deaths and the first time the daily death count in Michigan has been over 100. 

Seventy-one of Michigan’s 83 counties have cases and 35 have reported deaths. Health officials believe the actual number of cases is much higher, but there remains a test shortage.

Southeast Michigan continues to be ground zero for the disease, with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer noting that almost 80% of positive cases come from Macomb, Wayne and Oakland counties. They compose more than 40% of the state’s population.

Detroit, the only city with its own health department, has 5,023 cases and 193 deaths. The rest of Wayne County, where Detroit is located, sits at 3,247 cases and 153 deaths. Oakland County follows with 3,380 cases and 185 deaths and Macomb County has 2,159 cases and 100 deaths.

COVID-19 has impacted African American residents at a disproportionate rate as they account for 41% of COVID-related deaths in the state.


Black communities are hit the hardest with COVID-19 currently at 33% of cases, while only accounting for 14% of the population in Michigan. Their white counterparts account for 23% of cases, 79% of the state population.

Detroit has a Black population of about 79% and Wayne County also has the largest African American population in the state. Whitmer said Detroit is suffering the greatest due to hosting a large airport and deep-seated poverty issues in the area.

This isn’t just a Detroit issue. Chicago similarly only has a Black population of 30%, but they account for 52% of cases as of Sunday.

New York City has the highest population of African Americans at just over 2 million residents and has the most COVID-19 cases in the country. On Monday, the city health department reported a total of 67,820 cases and 2,475 COVID-related deaths.


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. Whitmer declared a state of emergency that day.

Johns Hopkins University reports that there are more than 1.3 million confirmed cases worldwide and almost 74,000 deaths. In the United States, there are more than 352,000 confirmed cases and 10,389 deaths.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Anna Liz Nichols
Anna Liz Nichols

Anna Liz Nichols is a former Michigan Advance intern. She is a Michigan State University graduate who has reported for several publications, including MLive and Michigan State University’s award-winning student paper, the State News, where she covered the many tendrils of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.

Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 22-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, LGBTQ+ people, the state budget, the economy and more. She previously 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 90 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 5,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 80 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two kids along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.