Michigan’s Stay-At-Home Restrictions Extended, Loosened but Numbers Continue to Rise

The total number of COVID cases in Michigan increased to 35,291 on April 23 (Chart 1), compared to  33,966 the day before; this was a 1,325 daily case increase. This was equivalent to 353 cases per 100,000 people (Chart 2) on April 23.

The total number of COVID cases reported to date in the City of Detroit reached 8,317 on April 23. Wayne County (excluding Detroit) had 6,677 cases, Oakland County had 6,634 cases, and Macomb County had 4,862 cases (Chart 3). The number of confirmed cases in Washtenaw, Livingston, Monroe and St. Clair counties combined totaled 1,811.

The daily data highlighted in these posts is from Michigan.gov/coronavirus, where data is updated daily at 3 p.m. Historical data was supplied from covidtracking.com, which republishes COVID data from the State.

The City of Detroit showed total COVID per capita cases of 1,236 per 100,000 people on April 23, an increase from 1,193 the day before (Chart 4). Wayne County reported 993 cases per 100,000 people, and Oakland County’s cases per 100,000 was 986. Macomb County had 728 COVID cases per 100,000 people. Livingston County was the only county regionally to not experience an increased rate per capita; Detroit on the other hand experienced the highest rate increase at 43 cases per capita.

Chart 5 shows that the daily increases in the number of new COVID cases. New cases decreased for Wayne County and Livingston County between April 22 and 23. On April 23 Wayne County reported 142 new COVID cases while on April 22 184 new cases were reported. Livingston County reported 4 new cases and 7 new cases the day prior. Overall, Detroit had the highest number of new COVID cases on April 23 at 291; Macomb County reported 234 new cases and Oakland County reported 171. Detroit’s numbers may reflect increased testing that the City and others have been offering to first responders and others.

Wayne and Livingston counties also experienced a decrease in the number of new COVID cases per 100,000 people on April 23. For Wayne County, the rate of new COVID cases per 100,000 people was 12 on April 23 and the rate for Livingston County was 13. The rate for Detroit increased to 43 new COVID cases per 100,000 people on April 23 while Macomb County reported a rate of 27 and Oakland County reported a rate of 14(Chart 6).

In addition to the raw data of confirmed cases, we also show the percent change in the number of cases reported day-to-day. In Chart 7 we see the raw data in the percent change, which shows that on April 23 the percent change from April 22 was 3.9 percent; this was an increase from the percent change of 3 percent recorded on April 22.

It was reported by the State of Michigan that on April 23 the total of COVID-19 deaths reached 2,977 (Chart 8). This was a 5.8 percent increase from April 22 (Chart 9). The 2,977 total deaths reported for April 23 was 164 deaths higher than what was reported on April 22 (Chart 10). The State of Michigan again noted on April 23 that 55 of the new deaths reported were a result of comparing death certificates with positive COVID cases in the State’s database; these means 55 of the 164 new deaths did not necessarily occur on that day. Furthermore, this means that on April 22 (data released each day is reflective of the real-time data from the day prior) were 109 new total daily deaths (not including the 55 deaths reported as a result of database comparisons), which is a small decrease from the 113 deaths reported on April 22.

Of the total deaths reported (including the 55 from the database comparisons), Detroit had 52, Oakland County had 38 and Wayne and Macomb counties both had 20. Livingston, Monroe and St. Clair counties reported no new deaths. Wayne and Macomb counties have both been experiencing decreases in the number of deaths over the last few days. On April 21 Macomb County reported 42 new daily deaths and Wayne County reported 43 new daily deaths; on April 23-as shown in Chart 13-both counties reported 20 new daily deaths. The addition of these new daily deaths brings the totals to the following: 799 COVID deaths in Detroit, 493 in Macomb County, 567 in Oakland County, and 592 in Wayne County (Chart 11).

The cumulative number of COVID fatalities per 100,000 people was 119 for Detroit, 88 for Wayne County, 84 for Oakland County and 73 for Macomb County (Chart 12). Both Charts 11 and 12 show that Detroit is pulling farther away from the counties in Southeastern Michigan in term of the number of COVID deaths. While totals across the region are increasing Detroit’s numbers are increasing at a faster rate.

Charts 14 and 15 show the case death rates for the State of Michigan and for Detroit and the seven counties in Southeastern Michigan. To determine the rates we divided the reported deaths from each day by the number of total COVID cases each day.

On April 23 the COVID case fatality rate in Michigan was 8.4 percent; this was only a 0.1 percent increase for the day before.

Macomb County reached continues to be the only one in the region for a fatality rate above 10 percent; on April 23 it was reported as 10.2 percent. Detroit and Wayne County join Macomb County in having fatality rates above the state’s. Detroit’s fatality rate on April 23 was 9.6 percent and Wayne County’s was 8.8 percent.

Michigan is now on the verge of 3,000 COVID deaths and has more than 35,000 confirmed COVID cases. In the next day we will learn what the Governor has in store for a potential extended Stay at Home Order and how the Legislature will act in response to the Governor’s authority as dictated by the Emergency Order. Concerns over reopening the economy continue to mount, but concerns over public health must remain a priority.  It is very important to remember the case of the Spanish Flu epidemic where cases went down with the closing of businesses and public places, but rose higher still when they were re-opened prematurely, and many more deaths occurred. This is a time to think clearly.

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