LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — The number of deaths related to COVID-19 in Michigan jumped to 60 Wednesday and the number of confirmed cases nearly reached 2,900.

The tests run Wednesday, the results of which were released Thursday afternoon, brought the
state’s total number of confirmed cases to 2,856, more than 500 than recorded the day prior.

The majority of the deaths have happened in metro Detroit: 26 were in Wayne County (including the city of Detroit),  15 were in Oakland County and 11 were in Macomb County.

Metro
Detroit also has the largest concentration of confirmed cases:

  • Wayne County (including Detroit): 1,389
  • Oakland County: 668
  • Macomb County: 347

Washtenaw County has 92 cases. Kent County’s number of confirmed cases hit 41 with Wednesday’s tests and Ottawa County’s reached 18.

As of Wednesday, the state says it has tested 9,109 specimens, which included 6,550 negative tests and 2,453 positive results.

The positive amount of specimens does not equal the number of people with COVID-19 because some people need more than one test. In addition, the total specimens tested do not equal the total patients tested.

Out of the confirmed cases, 51 percent were male and 49 percent were female. About 44 percent of people who have tested positive have been 60 or older. About 20 percent of the cases have been under the age of 40.

“We’re
still in the up slope of the spread,” said Michigan Department of Health and
Human Services Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun.

Hospitals
outside southeast Michigan are being asked to hold 10 percent of their beds to
help support hospitals in Metro Detroit.

On
Thursday, the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department announced its first
positive case of COVID-19 in Cass County. In Ionia County, the health
department recorded its second confirmed case.

According
to data compiled by NBC News from both the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention and state officials, Michigan has the sixth
highest number of deaths linked to coronavirus in the country and the fifth
highest number of confirmed cases.

COVID-19 presents with a fever, cough and shortness
of breath. For most who contract it, symptoms are mild. The people most at risk
to develop severe complications are the elderly and those with preexisting
health problems.

STAY-AT-HOME ORDER ‘NOT OPTIONAL’

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told residents Thursday that her stay-at-home order is “not optional, it’s not a recommendation.”

On Monday, Whitmer ordered Michigan residents to stay home for at least three weeks to slow the spread of coronavirus.

“If we don’t all do our part, more people are going to get sick and more people are going to die,” Whitmer said Thursday.

The stay-at-home order means people should not go out unless they are fulfilling an essential errand, like getting food, or if they are designated an essential worker.

“If you’re not a life-sustaining business, you’re in violation of the law and needlessly exposing your employees to COVID-19. You’re needlessly endangering our communities,” Whitmer said. “I would encourage any business that is not sure to probably assume that they’re not.”

She added businesses like florists, landscaping or home construction should not be considered life sustaining and should not be open during the executive order.

Additionally, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says burn permits are being suspended across the state under the stay-at-home order, the goal being to make sure emergency services will be free and keep firefighters separated.

TRACKING CORONAVIRUS:

NEED FOR MEDICAL SUPPLIES

Whitmer said Thursday that a major disaster declaration has been sent to President Donald Trump.

She said it will help support Michigan residents through the coronavirus pandemic. If granted in full, the declaration will help provide meals, rental assistance, temporary housing for families among other things.

Whitmer said the state had secured the following items amid the shortage of personal protection equipment for medical staff :

  • 13 million N95 masks
  • 226,000 surgical masks
  • 35,000 hospital gowns
  • More than 4 million gloves
  • Nearly 100,000 face shields
  • 250 hospital beds
  • Thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer

Even with the additional supplies, Whitmer said hospitals are still in need of items. She asked on residents and businesses to donate the most needed items to hospitals.

Donations can be directed to the Michigan Community Service Commission at COVID19donations@michigan.gov or 517.335.4295.

>>Inside woodtv.com: Lists of supplies needed most at West Michigan hospitals

Whitmer said residents can help by donating to food banks, donating blood through the Red Cross or calling 211 to see what is needed. She asked Michiganders to use the hashtag #DoingMIPart to show how they are trying to stop the spread of COVID-19

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