COVID-19 case total tops 20,000 in Michigan, 959 deaths

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Lansing, Mich. — The Michigan COVID-19 case total has now surpassed 20,000.

State health officials are reporting 20,346 cases and 959 deaths due to coronavirus in Michigan.

Yesterday’s death toll jump was the largest yet with 118 new deaths. Today, there are 114 new deaths.

Michigan ranks no.3 in the nation for most coronavirus cases behind New York (140,000+ cases) and New Jersey (44,000+) cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) COVID-19 Global Case Tracker.

Wayne County, Michigan currently has the sixth most cases out of every other U.S. county, with more than 9,000 cases, according to the tracker. The city of Detroit accounts for more than half of the cases in Wayne County.

The entire Metro-Detroit area consisting of Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties contribute about 80 percent of the state’s entire coronavirus cases. The City of Detroit accounts for 35 percent of the cases in the Metro-Detroit area.

Across the United States, cases have surpassed 400,000. Many states including Illinois, Louisiana and Michigan have been finding that COVID-19 has been disproportionately affecting black people.

CBS National correspondent Jericka Duncan reported that African Americans have higher rates of the underlying health issues (such as diabetes or asthma) that can lead to death by coronavirus. 

In Mid-Michigan, 6 News Reporter Araceli Crescencio reported that while Black Michiganders account for 40% of coronavirus deaths in the state, they account for only 14% of the population.

According to the Ingham County Health Department, 27% of people who test positive for the coronavirus cases are Black Americans, despite only making up 10% of the population (U.S. Census).

Linda Vail, health officer of the Ingham County Health Dept. said the numbers are startling but not shocking.

“We see many many many health conditions such that disproportionately affect communities of color so that’s not new and I guess in some ways is not a surprise that we would see that yet again,” Vail said.

Graph Made By Araceli Crescencio

Just yesterday, the Michigan House voted to extend Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s State of Emergency Declaration to April 30. By extending the State of Emergency Declaration, it gives Gov.Whitmer the power to extend her executive orders as she sees fit, including the “Stay Home Stay Safe” Executive Order.

Gov. Whitmer signed the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order (EO 2020-21) on March 23, directing all Michigan businesses and operations to temporarily suspend in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life.

The order also directs Michiganders to stay in their homes unless they’re a part of that critical infrastructure workforce, engaged in an outdoor activity, or performing tasks necessary to the health and safety of themselves or their family, like going to the hospital or grocery store.  

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