Coronavirus in Michigan: Day 27

Michigan tallies more than 100 COVID-19 deaths overnight  

Only four dead in Greater Lansing after testing positive for COVID-19  


(This story was updated at 3:45 p.m.) 

MONDAY, April 6 — Another 1,503 new cases of coronavirus and an additional 110 deaths related to COVID-19 were reported statewide today as the virus ravages southeast Michigan. 

And at least four are dead from COVID-19 in Greater Lansing. While the state reported a second death in Ingham County yesterday, local officials said the data was incorrect. It has since been corrected in state records as well; Ingham County has only tracked one COVID-19 death.  

Here are the latest statistics from earlier this afternoon, with percentage changes from statistics reported by state officials on Sunday afternoon.  


Cases — 17,221 (+9.6%)  

Deaths — 727 (+17.8%)  

Ingham County  

Cases — 178 (+3.5%)  

Deaths — 1 

Eaton County  

Cases — 57 (+3.6%)  

Deaths — 2  

Clinton County  

Cases — 56 (+1.8%)  

Deaths — 1  

State officials announced that at least 24% of Michigan patients diagnosed with COVID-19 have been hospitalized, with about 9% of cases requiring ventilators. And about 89% of those requiring hospitalization are in southeast Michigan, according to still-incomplete state data. 

In Ingham County, officials reported that about 15% of confirmed cases have required hospitalization, with the rest being comparatively mild with patients recovering at home. 

According to state reports, about 80% of cases (and about 87% of those dead) are from Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties, including the city of Detroit. Data also shows African Americans accounted for 33% of cases and 41% of deaths. Caucasians accounted for 23% of cases and 28% of deaths; those of unknown race charted 38% of cases and 26% of deaths. 

Today, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list 330,891 cases of COVID-19 and 8,910 deaths in the U.S. The New York Times database, which is updated more frequently, listed more: At least 357,036 confirmed cases and 10,522 deaths nationwide. 

Michigan is the state with the third most confirmed cases in the country, still well behind New York and New Jersey. Michigan also reports the third-highest number of deaths among states.  

On the frontlines... 

State officials reported today that the virus’ peak in Michigan is likely set for late April or May, but due to incomplete testing, officials are still struggling to lock down any reliable predictions. 

As of today, more than 40,000 tests had been completed compared to just 9,000 on April 4, officials said. And at least 15 laboratories are now processing tests — some with rapid, 15-minute results — compared to just a single lab with a one-day turnaround a month ago.  

Still, data isn’t expansive enough to draw any conclusions about the pandemic, according to the state’s chief medical executive, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. She also said Michigan is continuing to face a massive statewide shortage of protective equipment for frontline health care staff. 

The CEO of Beaumont Health, the state’s largest medical system, lashed out yesterday evening about a lack of communication among hospitals and state officials as Metro Detroit struggles with a surge of patients, potentially putting patients in undue dangerreports Bridge Magazine.   

According to reports in Bridge Magazine, state officials said that not all hospitals have not been regularly reporting patient and other data, setting the state behind in terms of tracking and mitigating the spread. The latest emergency order aims to streamline that collection process. 

Another statewide emergency order filed over the weekend requires COVID-19 deaths to be reported by physicians and funeral homes in a more expedient fashion to help improve the state’s response to slowing the spread of the virus, requiring a 24- or 48-hour turnaround. 

Whitmer this morning reported that equipment stockpiles statewide are running “dangerously low” with some hospitals in southeast Michigan reporting less than a week’s worth of N95 masks, face shields and hospital gowns left in reserves. More supplies are still en route, she said. 

Emergency room nurses at a Detroit Medical Center hospital in Detroit, tasked with more than 100 critically ill patients, pushed back last night against what they said are dangerous working conditions, according to recent reports in the Detroit Free Press and Bridge Magazine. 

Beaumont Health, the state’s largest health care system, informed employees last week that anyone who refuses to work with COVIF-19 patients will be fired, reports the Detroit News. 

Doctors, nurses and other medical staff are still being asked to go to the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic to staff the TCF Center, among other volunteer roles. Visit for details or to make a donation to help support the cause. 

In Lansing... 

House Speaker Lee Chatfield said Michigan’s state of emergency should be called off by May 1 — not the full 70-day extension requested by Whitmer at the end of last month, according to reports in the Detroit Free Press. And the Legislature plans to convene tomorrow in Lansing. 

That’s despite pushback from dozens of state leaders, including Whitmer and Rep. Julie Brixie, D-Meridian Township. Brixie recently said that while the pandemic remains in its infancy, gathering over 200 lawmakers and their staff in one location represents an unnecessary risk. 

The Detroit Free Press reports that a second state lawmaker, Rep. Karen Whitsett, D-Detroit, tested positive for COVID-19 today. State Rep. Tyrone Carter also tested positive for the virus and Rep. Isaac Robinson, D-Detroit, died from COVID-19 last week. 

“If the Legislature must meet prior to the April 29 expiration, the only rational decision is to extend the emergency and disaster declaration based on the most current recommendation of our public health officials,” Brixie said in a statement, similar to Whitmer’s views on the topic. 

In response, legislators plan to use new procedures, including waiting in their cars until it’s their turn and temperature screening at the entranceway, reports the Detroit Free Press. Those exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms at all are “strongly encouraged” to stay at home. 

Whitmer also hinted today at plans to extend her stay-at-home order sometime in the next week, telling residents today to “stay tuned” for a likely announcement on the topic. 

Yesterday, Whitmer also signed an executive order to renew restrictions on entry into various adult care and juvenile justice facilities until at least May 3. It also now requires facilities use their best efforts to make available phone or video conferencing visits for those under their care. 

She also signed another executive order that relaxes requirements for public entities to respond to requests under the Freedom of Information Act. If those requests require a physical search of records, they can now be legally delayed until after the state of emergency has been lifted. 

Michigan is seeking election workers to support ongoing elections amidst the crisis. The May 5 elections will be conducted primarily by mail, but election workers are still needed to process and count ballots and to staff clerks’ offices. Visit for details.  

In other news… 

Lansing Mayor Andy Schor today signed two executive directives to restrict the city’s expenses amid the pandemic. One restricts departmental discretionary spending and the second restricts hiring, transfers and promotions without a specific exception granted from city administration. 

“Freezing discretionary spending and hiring will help ensure stability in our budget,” Schor said. “The economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic are not clear yet, and I am committed to making sure that we are in the best financial position possible when we emerge from this crisis.” 

According to MIRS News: State officials are also urging those unemployed due to coronavirus-driven shutdowns to “remain patient” as more staff and resources are steered to help handle a 400,000, or 4,000%, spike in claims over the last two weeks as businesses halt. 

The Michigan National Guard is also now supporting food banks in Comstock Park, Ann Arbor, Pontiac and Flint, most recently at the Forgotten Harvest Food Bank in Royal Oak. 

Youth events scheduled this summer at Michigan State University will now either be suspended, postponed or moved online. No face-to-face programs will take place anywhere in the state, including summer camps, until at least Sept. 1, reports the Lansing State Journal. 

Little Caesars announced today that it will donate and deliver a million pizzas to health care workers and first responders across the country this week, reports the Detroit News 

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