Michigan reported 1,586 new COVID cases on Oct. 20, 2020, bringing the total number of cases reported to 149,392. In Chart 1 we show that the State total for the number of COVID cases on Oct. 18 was 145,751–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. On Oct. 18, Wayne County reported the highest number of cases in the region at 20,322. Oakland County reported 18,589 cases and Macomb County reported 16,065. Detroit reported 14,969 COVID cases on Oct. 18; Macomb County surpassed the total number of confirmed cases in Detroit on Oct. 6. While the more densely populated areas in the region have the highest number of confirmed cases, Washtenaw County has pulled away from the other more rural counties in with higher numbers as well. Washtenaw County reported 4,190 confirmed cases on Oct. 18.
As shown in Chart 3, Oakland County reported the highest number of new daily confirmed cases on Oct. 18 at 94, followed by Wayne County with 78 new confirmed cases and Macomb County with 73. Washtenaw County reported 35 new daily confirmed COVID cases on Oct. 18 while Detroit reported 21. These numbers are also based on a five-day rolling average.
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 chart below (Chart 4) highlights how Wayne County not only has the highest number of confirmed total COVID cases in the region (this data does not include Detroit’s numbers) it also has the highest number of confirmed cases per capita. According to the data released on Oct. 20, Wayne County had 23,598 COVID cases per million people. Macomb County had the second highest number of confirmed cases per million people at 19,351. Detroit had 10,019 confirmed COVID cases per million people; the only two counties in the region with few number of cases per capita were Livingston and St. Clair counties.
In Chart 5, the five-day rolling average for the number of deaths, shows the number of deaths in the State of Michigan reached 6,996 on Oct. 18. The actual cumulative COVID-19 deaths on Oct. 20 was 7,053, an increase of 22 deaths from the prior day, with one of those deaths being added to the total through death record reviews. Chart 6 (a five-day rolling average) shows that on Oct. 18, the City of Detroit reported 1,546 deaths. Wayne County had the second highest total at 1,309 deaths on Oct. 18. Although the curved has flattened for the number of COVID deaths in Southeastern Michigan, the numbers are still growing, just at a much slower pace.
COVID-19 numbers in Michigan continue to increase at a quicker rate than what has occurred in months. Classrooms and gatherings some of the main areas where outbreaks are occurring. According to the State of Michigan, as of Oct. 15, there were outbreaks in 84 Michigan school buildings in 31 counties. Overall, between Oct. 8 and Oct. 15 there was a 25 percent increase in K-12 classroom outbreaks. Furthermore, universities are also seeing increases in the student population contracting COVID. To slow the spread within this community some universities and local health departments are taking their own precautions. For example, the Washtenaw County Health Department just issued a 2-week stay at home order for University of Michigan undergraduate students to curb the spread. In Washtenaw County last week the number of new confirmed and probable COVID cases increased by more than 600.
As the daily number of confirmed COVID cases continue to increase by more than 1,000 daily we must continue practice the mandates set forth by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, which includes wearing masks, remaining socially distant and limiting social gatherings.