Michigan reports more than 55K COVID-19 cases, 5,266 deaths

State changes test reporting

By: - May 26, 2020 3:44 pm

COVID-19 | CDC image by Hannah A Bullock, Azaibi Tamin

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reports Tuesday that 55,104 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 5,266 have died from the virus — an additional 223 cases and 26 deaths since Monday.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office also announced the rollout of a new online dashboard for COVID-19 risk and trend data Tuesday, which provides a look at the virus metrics in a community and its projected risk levels for COVID-19 spread.

The outbreak has reached all but four of Michigan’s 83 counties.

The city of Detroit, which is the only city in Michigan with its own health department, reported 10,818 total cases and 1,326 deaths Tuesday. Combined with the rest of Wayne County, those numbers stand at 19,926 cases with 2,368 total deaths.

Other counties reporting case numbers over 1,000 include: Oakland County (8,240), Macomb County (6,528), Kent County (3,420), Genesee County (1,964), Washtenaw (1,301) and Saginaw with 1,000 cases.

Twenty-four counties beyond that have reported at least 100 cases.

The ages of people dying from the disease range from 5 to 107, and DHHS reports that Michigan has about a 10% fatality rate among its statewide confirmed COVID-19 cases.

As of Friday, 33,168 people have recovered from COVID-19, according to the state.

There also have been 3,305 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported from MDOC facilities, including some in the U.P., and 64 deaths.

The state now reports that Michigan’s two Federal Correctional Institutes (FCIs) have a combined total of 138 cases and four deaths — although data from the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) only shows the Milan facility with three prisoners with COVID-19 and three deaths, while the privately owned North Lake facility in Baldwin reports 14 prisoner cases. Both case numbers are thought to be higher due to the BOP’s lack of public testing data.

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.

Johns Hopkins University reports that there are more than 5.5 million confirmed cases worldwide and more than 347,085 deaths. In the United States, there are more than 1.6 million confirmed cases and 98,294 deaths.


Change in test reporting

On Saturday, the DHHS announced that its COVID-19 data moving forward will separate out the results of two different types being conducted for accuracy purposes.

Now, serology (also known as antibody) tests have their own reporting category on the state’s COVID-19 site. Serology tests determine whether an individual has ever had the disease, as opposed to traditional viral diagnostic tests which only check for an active virus.

DHHS emphasized on Saturday that the change in data reporting does not affect the number of lab-confirmed cases, although it did push down the percentage of positive tests over the previous nine days.

“Michigan’s overall percentage of positive tests since the beginning of the outbreak remains virtually the same – changing from 14.2 percent positive tests to 14.3 percent,” the DHHS release reads.

Out of the 537,698 total tests reported to the state since Friday, 469,915 are diagnostic results and 67,783 are serology results, making the latter account for approximately 12% of the state’s overall tests.

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Laina G. Stebbins
Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, Native issues and criminal justice for the Advance. A lifelong Michigander, 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.