Metro Detroit’s Latest COVID-19 Updates: April 21

A quick look at what’s happening locally
beaumont
Beaumont Health is cutting staff and salaries amid the coronavirus pandemic. // Photograph courtesy of Beaumont

The CDC is now reporting 746,625 COVID-19 case and 39,083 deaths. John Hopkins University, which uses slightly different data than the CDC, is reporting 2.5 million cases worldwide and 171,000 deaths. Today, Germany canceled its iconic Oktoberfest celebration, a Chinese study found that the COVID-19 virus lingers as long as three weeks in the bodies of patients with severe diseases, the Netherlands banned large events until Sept. 1, and officials with the United Kingdom announced that they will begin human vaccine trials next week. Here’s what’s happening in metro Detroit

The state of Michigan reported 957 new COVID-19 cases and 232 deaths. Today’s data includes 95 additional deaths identified through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services review of previous death certificates. In total, the state has seen 32,967 cases and 2,700 deaths. [Michigan.gov

In his press conference at Eastern Market today, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan shared that the city has been averaging 36 deaths a day over the last four days. This average is about the same as last week. Duggan also said that the amount of occupied beds and ventilators has remained roughly the same at most of the city’s hospitals since April 18. “We went up very fast, we started to come down, and now we are at a flat level,” Duggan said, adding that Whitmer’s decision to extend the stay-at-home order was the correct decision. [City of Detroit

In an opinion piece published in The New York Times today, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wrote that “governors have made gut-wrenching decisions” amid the coronavirus pandemic. Whitmer went on to share why she’s partnered with other Midwestern governors to reopen the economy across the region and how moving too quickly will likely lead to a second wave of COVID-19. The entire piece can be read, here. [The New York Times

Beaumont Health is temporarily laying off 2,475 of its 38,000 employees; cutting executive salaries, including a 70% pay cut for CEO John Fox; and permanently eliminating 450 positions — many of which are corporate staff or administrative roles. According to officials, nearly al inpatient and outpatient surgeries and other medical services not related to COVID-19 stopped five weeks ago. As a result, Beaumont’s net income in the first quarter fell $407.5 million compared to last year. The health system will also pause or cancel nonessential projects. [Beaumont Health

Officials with Saint Joseph Mercy are sharing that health system’s Oakland and Livonia hospitals have recently received 1,200 Detroit Wing Co. meals from Detroit Red Wings left wing Justin Abdelkader and his wife, Julie. Detroit Red Wings centerman Dylan Larkin also donated 25,000 gloves to the Livonia hospital, and Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and his wife, Kelly, recently donated meals from Roadside B&G to the Oakland hospital. Saint Joseph Mercy has also received donations from local businesses such as Domino’s, DTE Foundation, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., Little Caesars, and Big George’s. [Saint Joseph Mercy Health System

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Wayne County Third Circuit Court in Detroit is suspending jury service until Aug. 17. Those who received jury summons asking them to appear before that date will not have to appear and their service will be dismissed. [Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan

COVID-19 antibody testing that’s portable, fast, cheap, and precise may be made possible with a device invented at the University of Michigan and developed by U-M startup Optofluidic Bioassay. The microfluidic device is capable of doing multiple lab functions on just one small chip —appropriately, it’s referred to as a “lab on a chip.” The device can detect synthetic COVID-19 antibodies, and Optofluidic Bioassay is now working with researchers at New Jersey hospital on experiments with blood from patients with the coronavirus. [University of Michigan]

The state of Michigan is partnering with CVS Health to provide up to 700 drive-through COVID-19 tests a day in Dearborn, Gov. Whitmer announced today. Testing, available at no cost to Michiganders, will take place in the parking lot of the Henry Ford Centennial Library at 16301 Michigan Ave. A doctor’s referral is not necessary to be tested. Those interested in getting a test can go through pre-screening and register for an appointment at cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing. [Michigan.gov

Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel has joined a coalition of attorney generals from across the country as well as the City of New York in writing a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture that urges the department to not finalize a rule that would take food benefits from 3.1 million people, including about 144,000 Michiganders. “Food insecurity has been a concern for millions of people across the country for a long time, and even more Americans now are struggling to feed their families as the COVID-19 pandemic has robbed them of their incomes,” Nessel says in a press release. “This proposed rule, if finalized, would only make it worse, and the USDA must reconsider adoption of it to avoid exacerbating an already terrible situation.” The letter can be read, here. [Department of Attorney General

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