Michigan Expands Reporting To Include Probable COVID-19 Deaths

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By WWJ Newsradio 950

(WWJ) The State of Michigan is expanding its reporting to include probable cases and deaths from COVID-19.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has added 240 probable deaths due to the virus. These deaths occurred throughout the course of the pandemic.

According to the website; that encompasses “individuals with COVID-19 symptoms and an epidemiological link to confirmed COVID-19, but no diagnostic test.”

The City of Detroit is home to 84 of those probable deaths.

Other parts of Wayne County reported 30 additional deaths. 

Oakland County is reporting 41 probable deaths while Macomb County had 37 more deaths.  

MDHHS also added 4,928 probable cases of the virus.

204 cases have been confirmed since Thursday. 21 more people who have tested positive for the virus have died.

To see a complete breakdown by region, click here.

Accounting for both confirmed and probable; Michigan’s total stands at 63,169 cases with 5,837 deaths.

Despite the numbers; Chief Medical Executive, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, said there is reason to be hopeful. 

“We are still on an encouraging trajectory across the state,” Khaldun said during Friday’s press conference.

She told reporters Detroit, Kalamazoo and Saginaw regions have an infection rate of less than 20 cases per one million residents. The Grand Rapids region is at 27 cases per one million residents; but are in their second consecutive week of a steady decline, according to Khaldun.

Khaldun said about five percent of COVID-19 tests come back positive.

The state has tripled its testing capacity since April to over 15,000 tests per day, according to Khaldun. The State is moving toward its next goal of 30,000 tests per day.

“…A robust level that would help us identify any new cases, and swiftly contain the disease," she said. 

Khaldun is urging all Michiganders to seek out a test. To find a testing site near you, click here.

The fatality rate of confirmed cases has dropped from 10.5% to 9.6% as testing becomes more widely available, thus accounting for less severe cases.

Health officials urge you to continue to remain vigilant by keeping six feet of distance between yourself and people you do not live with; and wearing a mask in situations where that is not possible.

They have expressed concern that the recent Black Lives Matters protest would cause a spike of COVID-19. Khaldun said it is too soon to tell since the virus can have about an incubation period of about two weeks. 

She told reporters contact tracers always ask people who are newly diagnosed if they have been in any groups.

“At this point…I don’t know of any cases that are associated with it,” she said.

She urged protesters to wear a mask and get tested.

“If you are marching, march with someone you know so we can get their contact if we need to…We recommend people use a noisemaker instead of yelling,” Khaldun said. “We’ll continue to monitor the data.”

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Additional resources: 

To read about the symptoms of COVID-19, click here.

For who is considered most at risk, click here. 

To learn how you can protect yourself and others, click here.