(This story presented as part of a cooperative effort between Healthcare Michigan and MIRS, a Lansing-based news and information service.)

Detroit reported that the city’s COVID-19 related deaths continues to decline, with nine additional deaths reported May 1, bringing the city’s total to 1,045.
Mayor Mike Duggan said in his daily press briefing that the number of deaths at nursing homes, however, continues to grow. By May 1, 233 nursing home residents and three staff had died after testing positive for COVID-19, he said.

“The numbers are coming down extremely fast,” he said. “What we’re doing is continuing to work … Before this is over, we’re going to find a quarter to a third of all the deaths in the city occurred at the nursing homes and senior living facilities.”

Duggan said the numbers are low, in part, because “we did not get a bunch of old death certificates” from the state. He prefers to measure the city’s progress by using the weekly numbers, saying the city had 197 COVID-19-related deaths weeks four weeks ago compared to 81 this week.

To date, the city has 9,192 positive COVID-19 cases, city health officer Denise Fair said.

The Mayor also announced that more than 400 city employees were scheduled to return to work on May 4 and work on the first critical city infrastructure project is underway.

That multi-million-dollar project is the installation of thousands of feet of Tiger Dam in the area of the city’s east side that was hard hit by rising levels and neighborhood flood in 2019. The project should wrap in mid-May.

Michigan Ranks 9th In Per-Capita COVID Cases
Michigan has the ninth-most number of COVID-19 cases per-capita among the 50 states and sixth-most COVID-19 deaths per capita, according to data available from The New York Times.

The numbers show Michigan with the seventh-most COVID-19 cases in raw numbers, but still with the third-highest total deaths. Michigan is among the states where new COVID-19 cases are staying mostly the same.

However, unlike in early to mid-April, the number of positive cases are coming from the universe of expanded testing, not because sick patients are rolling into emergency rooms, overwhelming Southeast Michigan hospitals.

May 1 daily totals show 977 new COVID-19 cases, 77 new deaths, 42,356 total cases and 3,866 total deaths.

No Michigan hospital is reporting that they are above 83 percent bed occupancy. The only two with bed occupancy above 80 percent are Detroit Medical Center (83 percent) and Covenant in Saginaw (82 percent).

Statewide, bed occupancy is at 63 percent with 942 patients in ICU and 2,690 patients overall.

Oakland County reported the highest number of cases May 1 (156), followed by suburban Wayne County (136), Kent County (121), Macomb County (110), the prisons (109) and Detroit (105). After that, 41 were reported in Kalamazoo County and 21 in Saginaw County.

A total of 38 Michigan counties reported no new cases. However, Baraga County reported its first case, which now leaves four Upper Peninsula counties without a COVID-19 case.

On deaths, suburban Wayne County reported the most with 15, followed by Macomb (11), Oakland (9), Detroit (5), Kalamazoo (5) and Washtenaw (5).