Health officials announce 2,856 cases, 60 deaths from COVID-19 in Michigan


Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has reported 2,856 cases and 60 deaths in the state of Michigan due to COVID-19.

To date, Michigan state hospitals and private labs have processed 9,100 samples for COVID-19 in Michigan, according to MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun.

According to today’s MDHHS report, a total of 2,453 tests have come back positive. That means 1 in 4 of the people who have been tested for COVID-19 have the virus.

The county with the most cases is Wayne County, where there are 1,389 cases of the total 2,856 state cases. Wayne County is the most populous county in the state of Michigan, followed by Oakland and Macomb counties.

Michigan is currently ranked 5th in the nation for COVID-19 cases and is the tenth most populous state in the nation with 10 million people.

Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer asked for a major disaster declaration from the Trump administration in order to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

By making that request from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Michigan could qualify for increased federal funding and other forms of assistance to assist in efforts combating the state’s coronavirus outbreak.

Across the U.S., cases have risen upwards of 69,000 with more than 1,000 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The states with the most cases of COVID-19 are:

  1. New York
  2. New Jersey
  3. California
  4. Washington
  5. Michigan
  6. Florida
  7. Illinois
  8. Massachusetts
  9. Louisiana
  10. Georgia

Yesterday, the Michigan case total was 2,294 and 43 deaths had been reported. The case total has been rising each day as more tests have been conducted.

Additionally, the death total has been rising daily and doubled between the March 25- March 26 date.

Since March 3, the office of the governor has been making efforts to reduce and contain the spread of novel coronavirus. On March 3, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the creation of four task forces to address the pandemic.

On Tuesday March 10, Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency across the state of Michigan after the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services confirmed two COVID-19 cases. Those two cases made Michigan the 38th state to report COVID-19 cases. The cases were found in Oakland and Wayne counties, according to Whitmer.

The next day, Michigan State University, University of Michigan, Central Michigan University, and many other colleges and universities in the state announced they would transition to online classes for the rest of their semesters.

On March 12, Gov. Whitmer announced the state would close all K-12 school buildings. Those schools have since become places for children to access free meals during the pandemic. WLNS TV-6 News reported this week that some of those K-12 schools have been overwhelmed with a high demand for meals.

Michelle Lantz, CEO of the Greater Lansing Food Bank said children are not the only ones showing up for meals. Now, their families, some of the elderly and other members of the community have been stopping by for meals, causing an increased demand. A spokesperson for the Lansing School District said it has been distributing up to 8,000 meals per day.

Schools were not the only public places that brought in crowds of people lined up — grocery stores such as Meijer, Kroger and Costco saw increased customer demand from non-perishables like rice, baking necessities and pasta to household essentials like toilet paper.

The lines of customers at the Costco located at 2540 E Saginaw Hwy, East Lansing, MI on Thursday March 12, 2020.

This week, Gov. Whitmer issued an Executive Order for people to stay home and for non-essential businesses to close. Whitmer followed the lead of governors who had already announced their “stay home” orders in California, New York, Illinois and Ohio.

Amid the closings of non-essential businesses, hospitals have been approaching their patient capacity. This week, Beaumont Health announced its eight hospitals are facing limitations and nearing capacity. Henry Ford Health System also reported similar circumstances, according to Michigan Radio. In large metropolitan cities such as Chicago, city officials have made plans to reserve at least 1,000 hotel rooms through partnerships with five hotels to lift some of the pressure on hospitals, according to the Associated Press.

In addition to the rise in patient hospitalizations, hospitals have reported a large shortage of masks, surgical gowns and eye gear.

On March 22, Mayor Andy Schor announced that the City of Lansing will provide drop-off locations for homemade masks. People who wish to make masks are encouraged to follow instructions and a pattern. That information can be found by clicking here.

Michigan Hospitals asking for supplies include McLaren and Sparrow Hospital. McLaren said that people should call ahead if they wish to donate supplies. Sparrow Hospital is still unsure if they are going to continue with collections.

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