2020 recap: Over 400,000 Covid cases and nearly 10,000 deaths in Michigan are grim plague markers

December 31, 2020, 6:55 AM by  Alan Stamm

This Dec. 7 repost reflects a defining topic of 2020. Michigan now counts over 488,000 Covid cases and more than 12,300 deaths, notably more than just 24 days ago.
Links to nine earlier installments in this year-end series are at the end.

Michigan is at two Covid mileposts that were unimaginable last winter.

Three seasons into the year of plague, more than 400,000 cases have been confirmed, the state announces Monday afternoon.

A more shocking round number -- 10,000 deaths -- will be reached Tuesday. That's more than the population of Benton Harbor, for perspective.


In addition to 9,947 confirmed deaths, the state health department lists Covid as the probable cause of 475 fatalities since mid-March -- a combined total of 10,422.

Another 6,004 confirmed diagnoses since Saturday are added to the cumulative total of cases -- now 404,386. Michigan's 48,424 added cases last week rank seventh among states.

When the probable categories are included, Michigan ranks ninth nationally for number of cases and deaths.

"This may be the most difficult time yet in our struggle with Covid," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Monday afternoon while announcing a 12-day extension of health department restrictions on business, education and recreation. 

"With recent daily case counts averaging well above 6,000, the daily death toll at alarming levels and the risk of hospitals becoming overwhelmed," she added, "we must work together as Michiganders and listen to our health experts."

Almost half the confirmed patients (197,750) were listed Friday as recovered, a designation for those surviving at least 30 days after diagnosis.

"Right now is a really critical time," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Friday.

She and the health department announced Monday afternoon a three-week epidemic order is extended 12 more days through Dec. 20. It bans inside service by restaurants and bars, in-person high school and college learning, plus theaters, gyms, organized sports and other enclosed social activities.

Hospitalizations have increased from 3,772 to 4,113 since the pause began Nov. 18. "We urge the state to extend protections through the holiday season," says a Dec. 7 statement from the Michigan Health and Hospital Association.

"Things are looking very grim with Covid-19 in our state right now," chief medical officer Joneigh Khaldun said recently in Lansing. "There's no area of the state that is spared."

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