Susan J. Demas
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Monday that 561,307 total Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 14,609 have died from the virus, which is an additional 2,066 cases and eight deaths since Saturday.
In September, the state stopped releasing case, death and testing numbers on Sundays, citing staff shortages and variance in data.
Over the two days, Sunday and Monday, the average number of new confirmed cases is 1,033 per day.
DHHS reports that an additional 51,403 Michiganders have been identified as “probable” cases for COVID-19, as well as 927 probable deaths. Combining the state’s confirmed positive cases with probable cases brings the total up to 612,710 statewide cases and confirmed deaths with probable deaths brings the total up to 15,536 deaths. The department began tracking probable cases and deaths on April 5.
The virus has been detected in all of Michigan’s 83 counties. The state’s COVID-19 fatality rate is 2.6%.
A new variant of COVID-19, known as B117, was first detected in Michigan on Jan 16. There are now 13 cases of the new COVID-19 variant confirmed in Washtenaw County and four in Wayne County.
“There are likely more cases that we have not yet identified, and there’s possibly a spread of the variant that is happening right now,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at DHHS, said during a press conference Monday.
Khaldun said this variant is more easily transmitted, but does not “appear to cause more severe disease.”
“But this new, more easily transmitted virus is still very concerning. We do not want to have to go backwards to slow the great progress we’ve already made,” Khaldun said. “We want to continue to reopen our economy and get back to a sense of normalcy. This means that we all have to think a bit differently and more aggressively about preventing the spread.”
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 103.2 million confirmed cases worldwide and 2.2 million deaths. About one-fifth of those are in the United States, where more than 26.2 million confirmed cases and 441,722 deaths have been recorded.
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