COVID-19 Update: Michigan Reports 705 new COVID cases on September 23

Michigan reported 705 new COVID cases on Sept. 23, 2020, bringing the total number of cases Michigan reported to 118,615. In Chart 1 we show that the State total for the number of COVID cases on Sept. 21 was 117,134–a five-day rolling average. The five-day rolling average for the total number of COVID cases (Chart 1) reflects a smoother curve and adjusts for fluctuations in testing and/or the quality of reporting or failure to report.

Chart 2 shows that, based on the five-day rolling averages, the growth of new COVID cases in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties continues to increase at higher rates than the other counties in the region and than Detroit, which once had the highest number cases. On Sept. 21, Wayne County reported the highest number of cases in the region at 17,898. Oakland County reported 16,191 cases and Macomb County reported 13,648. Detroit reported 14,238 COVID cases on Sept. 21. While Detroit reported more overall cases than Macomb County the chart does show Macomb County’s case numbers are on pace to surpass Detroit’s numbers.

In addition to having the highest number of total COVID cases Wayne County in the region, Charts 3 and 3.1 (which is just a closer look at the data) shows that it also had the highest number of daily cases on Sept. 21. Wayne County reported 33 new cases on Sept. 21. Oakland and Macomb counties each reported 22 new daily cases and Detroit reported 10 new cases, according to the five-day rolling averages.

The daily data highlighted in these posts is from Michigan.gov/coronavirus, where data is updated daily at 3 p.m. Historical data were supplied from covidtracking.com, which republishes COVID data from the State. Additionally, the case totals do not reflect the number of people who have recovered, just those who have been infected. In early June the State changed how it reports its data on the website, making data more accurate in the long-term but more complicated to track as well. The State regularly updates older data and as we continue to publish regular updates on COVID the State’s changes to past data many not always be reflected in our posts. The data published in new posts is accurate for the day we received it on though.

The map below highlights the average number of new daily COVID cases between Sept. 10 and Sept. 17 for the City of Detroit and the seven counties in Southeastern Michigan. As reflective of the data discussed above, Wayne County had the highest average number of new daily cases at 59, followed by Oakland County with an average of 47 new daily COVID cases last week and Macomb County with an average of 28 new daily cases. The averages reported here are less than the averages reported last week, however, they are more than the daily number of new cases reported on Sept. 21. In Detroit there was an average of 21 new cases per day last week; this is higher than the new number of cases reported for Detroit on Sept. 21 (five-day-rolling average). The fact that the numbers on Sept. 21 were lower than the average number of new COVID cases last week could mean case numbers are continuing to decline.

It should be noted that the State of Michigan regularly updates its daily COVID database, causing some large jumps in reported case numbers day-to-day; this may be impact the averages.

In Chart 4, the five-day rolling average for the number of deaths, shows the number of deaths in the State of Michigan reached 6,669 on Sept. 21. The actual cumulative COVID-19 deaths on Sept. 23 was 6,692, an increase of 12 deaths from the prior day. Chart 5 (a 5-day rolling average) further hones in on how majority the number of COVID related deaths has continued to remain flat for some time in Southeastern Michigan. On Sept. 21, the City of Detroit reported 1,519 deaths. Wayne County had the second highest total at 1,276 deaths on Sept. 21.

Charts 6 and Chart 6.1 shows how on Sept. 21 Detroit was the only one in the region of the eight government entities examined that reported a death; Detroit reported 1 death.

The map below shows the average number of daily COVID deaths between Sept. 10 and Sept. 17. These numbers are similar to what was reported on Sept. 21 (five-day-rolling average) in the region and further highlights how the number of daily COVID deaths in Southeastern Michigan continues to remain flat. Wayne County reported the highest average number of daily COVID deaths last week at 0.9; Oakland and Macomb counties reported 0.8 deaths and the City of Detroit reported an average of 0.5 daily COVID deaths between Sept.10-17. 

With school back in session we are already starting to see pockets of outbreaks in K-12 schools, and even larger outbreaks at universities and colleges. How the spread of the virus will increase or decrease as the weather begins to get colder and schools continue to work toward in-person school remains unknown. We do know though that there are ways to curb the spread of the virus, which includes wearing masks, maintaining physical distance from others and being in open air spaces.

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