MICHIGAN — Michigan reported 3,338 new cases of the coronavirus Saturday, its largest single-day increase in cases ever. Then, more than 3,000 more cases were reported over the rest of the weekend.
The spike is the latest addition in what has been a trend in growing cases, one that has state officials urging residents to wear masks, avoid large gatherings and to "take this seriously."
“The data shows we are continuing to see alarming increases in the incidence of COVID-19 infections in Michigan," said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “It is now more important than ever that people take this seriously. Wear a mask every time you are going to be around someone outside of your own household. Avoid large gatherings and maintain a safe distance from others. If rates continue like this, we risk overwhelming our hospitals and having many more Michiganders die.”
Nearly 162,000 people in the state have tested positive for the coronavirus, while over 7,200 people have died from COVID-19.
More than 96 percent of the test results reported Saturday were specimens collected from people in the past five days, the state said in a statement.
Last week, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer held a news conference to tell residents that they should wear masks and take precautions as cases continue to increase around the state.
Preventing the spread of the virus is made easier by wearing a mask and social distancing, Whitmer said. Those guidelines were once requirements included in executive orders issued by the Whitmer administration, but those orders were voided when the Michigan Supreme Court ruled on party lines that the law Whitmer cited in making the orders was unconstitutional.
Since that time, Whitmer said, the state has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
"We are now at our peak when it comes to daily new cases. This peak is higher than what we saw in April," she said.
Information provided by the governor's staff shows that the number of new cases has been joined by an increase in new hospitalizations, something she warned could lead to issues overwhelming the state's healthcare system.
"Our numbers are climbing," Whitmer said. "We need to take this seriously."