State health officials confirm 26 new COVID-19 deaths, US tops 2 million cases

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Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — As the U.S. has passed the 2 million-mark for COVID-19 totals, Michigan state health officials today announced 26 new COVID-19 related deaths and 218 new cases.

The total is now 59,496 cases and 5,737 deaths.

In Michigan, 42,041 people have recovered from COVID-19, as of last Saturday, June 6.

Nationwide, as many states have re-opened their public spaces, including restaurants, personal care salons and theaters, an analysis found that in 21 states, as of Monday, the rolling seven-day average of new cases per capita was higher than the average seven days earlier.

There is no single reason to explain all the surges. In some cases, more testing has revealed more cases. In others, local outbreaks are big enough to push statewide tallies higher. But experts think at least some are due to lifting stay-at-home orders, school and business closures, and other restrictions put in place during the spring to stem the virus’s spread, the AP reported.

The virus is also gradually fanning out. States such as Arkansas, Texas, Alabama and North Carolina specifically have been seeing an uptick in cases.

“It is a disaster that spreads,” said Dr. Jay Butler, who oversees coronavirus response work at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “It’s not like there’s an entire continental seismic shift and everyone feels the shaking all at once.”

The virus first landed on the U.S. coasts, carried by international travelers infected abroad. For months, the epicenter was in northeastern states. More recently, the biggest increases have been in the South and the West.

Locally in East Lansing, the coronavirus could impact Michigan State University students counted during the 2020 census in the city, 6 News Reporter Kiyerra Lake reported.

After MSU moved to online classes, many students moved out of East Lansing and back home.

Because the census asks people to provide their permanent location of where they lived as of April 1, 2020, MSU officials are working to ensure students mark East Lansing as the city of residence so East Lansing does not lose out on millions of dollars in federal funding.

2020 Michigan Census Executive Director Kerry Ebersole Singh said, “This is the easiest way you can help your community today.” She also said that $30 billion dollars are at stake in the state with this year’s census.

Singh said, “And we’re not in a place we can leave any resources on the table.”

New this year, Janet Lillie with MSU said universities were able to submit data for each student living on campus to the census.

Lillie said, “That’s really critical because that does allow a university to essentially provide a very accurate count of those who is living on campus.”

That’s 15,100 students being recorded at MSU. Lillie said this number is higher compared to the 2010 census.

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