Advance Notice: Briefs

Michigan reports 1,826 new COVID-19 cases Friday

By: - October 23, 2020 3:15 pm

A sign at Best Buy in May 2020 when there was still a statewide mask order | Susan J. Demas

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Friday that a total of 154,688 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 7,147 have died from the virus — an additional 1,826 cases and 18 deaths since Thursday.

DHHS also reports that an additional 17,434 Michiganders have been identified as “probable” cases for COVID-19, as well as 337 probable deaths. The department began tracking probable cases on April 5.

Combining the state’s confirmed positive cases with probable cases brings the total up to 172,122 statewide cases and 7,484 deaths.

According to the Covid Act Now model, Michigan is currently “at risk of an outbreak,” as the number of new daily cases is very high (18.8 per 100,000) and the infection rate is rapidly increasing (1.21).

Michigan’s positive test rate is now at 5.7%, indicating an adequate amount of testing. The model notes that there are an insufficient number of tracers hired at 11%.

The only “green” indicator on Michigan’s dashboard relates to the intensive care unit (ICU) headroom used. The state has used 20% of its available ICU headroom, meaning hospitals could likely handle a new wave of COVID-19.

New data from Carnegie Mellon demonstrates that states with higher rates of mask use in public have lower rates of COVID-19 symptoms. As of Wednesday, the COVIDcast project reported that 88.45% of Michigan’s population (based on surveys of Facebook users) wear a mask most or all of the time while in public.

Just over 20% of Michiganders know someone in their local community with COVID-like symptoms, according to the dashboard.

With those factors combined, Michigan is in the top one-third of states. The worst states for both COVID-19 symptom prevalence and mask use frequency are South Dakota, Wyoming, North Dakota and Idaho.

The virus has been detected in all of Michigan’s 83 counties. The state’s COVID-19 fatality rate has fallen again slightly to 4.6%.

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 41.9 million confirmed cases worldwide and 1.1 million deaths. About one-quarter of those are in the United States, where more than 8.4 million confirmed cases and 223,437 deaths have been recorded.

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Laina G. Stebbins
Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins is a former Michigan Advance reporter. 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.