Coronavirus death toll in Michigan reaches 3,670, with 40,000+ positive cases


John D. Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit. - STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling
  • John D. Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit.

The coronavirus death toll in Michigan rose to 3,670 on Wednesday, up 103 in the past day.

In 18 of the past 24 days, the state recorded more than 100 new deaths.

Michigan also reported 1,137 new positive cases, bringing the total to more than 40,000.

“We’re continuing to see an overall plateau in cases of COVID-19,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical officer, said at a news conference Wednesday. “That means that the social-distancing measures that we have been implementing over the past several weeks are working. We’re saving lives.”

For 14 straight days, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients have dropped, from 3,910 to 2,498. During the same period, the number of patients on a ventilator declined 31.7%, from 1,235 to 761.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced she’s reopening the construction sector on May 7 and said she will make decisions about other sectors based on their risks for spreading infection, as well as their geography and data on coronavirus cases and hospital capacity.

On Wednesday, Labor and Economic Opportunity Director Jeff Donofrio said the state has to proceed with caution to avoid a second wave.

“The worst thing that we can do for the long-term economic health of the state is to reopen too soon and increase infections rates — to reopen in a way that is unsafe. This would lead to another round of shutdowns and certainly further economic pain,” Donofrio said at a news conference.

Detroit reached two grim milestones on Wednesday: Reaching more than 1,000 deaths and eclipsing New York City in fatalities per capita. The city now has nearly 9,000 confirmed cases, but Mayor Mike Duggan says he believes more than 65,000 city residents — or one in 10 — have been infected.

Wayne County reported reported 45 new deaths, bringing its total to 1,727. The county now has nearly 16,500 confirmed cases, up 321 in the past day.

Macomb County reported 25 new deaths, pushing is total to 597. The county now has 5,430 positive cases, up 91 in the past day.

Oakland County’s death toll increased by 14, bringing its total to 668. The state’s second-largest county now has 7,159 positive cases, up 147 in the past day.

Only five counties — all in the Upper Peninsula — have not yet reported a positive case.

In the past two weeks, the number of inmates who tested positive in Michigan-run jails has skyrocketed, from 472 to 1,264. During the same period, the number of deaths increased from 12 to 41.

“This is a crisis unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes," Whitmer said, noting that more Americans died in the past two months from the coronavirus than died in the Vietnam war.

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