COVID-19 cases surpass 20K, Detroit sees slowdown in cases

By: - April 8, 2020 3:01 pm

The TCF Center in Detroit is transformed into a field hospital to house COVID-19 patients | TCF Center photo

The state is reporting that the number of COVID-19 cases has reached 20,346, an increase of 1,376 since Tuesday.

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, is now up to 959, with 114 new deaths reported Wednesday. 

Of the state’s more than 20,000 cases, 16,259 are reported in Macomb, Wayne and Oakland counties. Health officials believe the actual number of cases is much higher, but there remains a test shortage and struggles obtaining data from providers statewide.

Detroit, the only city with its own health department, has 5,824 cases and 251 deaths. This is the fourth consecutive day that the number of new positive cases in Detroit has dropped. 

At his daily press briefing, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan struck a somewhat optimistic note: “It’s early to tell but if we do this right, we might not have to have 1,000 beds at the TCF Center [field hospital]. The reason this is flattening out is because of you.”

As the Advance previously reported, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Detroit District, recommended the TCF location late last month as metro Detroit hospitals were inundated with COVID-19 patients. Whitmer gave the go-ahead.

The rest of Wayne County, where Detroit is located, sits at 3,802 cases and 195 deaths. Oakland County has 4,007 cases and 234 deaths and Macomb County reports 2,626 cases and 141 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.

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

Johns Hopkins University reports that there are more than 1.4 million confirmed cases worldwide and almost 87,000 deaths. In the United States, there are more than 404,000 confirmed cases and 13,829 deaths.

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Allison R. Donahue
Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue is a former Michigan Advance reporter who covered education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.