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Coronavirus live updates, March 29: 21 new deaths reported; cases reach 5,486

Here are live updates on coronavirus for Sunday, March 29.
Credit: WZZM/CDC

Here is the latest information on the coronavirus in Michigan, including the number of cases state officials report and other updates affecting West Michigan.

Sunday's cases

In the 3 p.m. update on Sunday, the state reported 836 new cases, bringing the total to 5,486. 

There were 21 new deaths; the death toll has reached 132. 

The number of cases within the Michigan Department of Corrections rose to 77.

View the cumulative data here.

The state emphasizes that the report of cumulative data is "provisional and subject to change. As public health investigations of individual cases continue, there will be corrections to the status and details of referred cases that result in changes to this report."

At this point, the state has not started reporting the number of recovered cases yet. 

RELATED: Why Michigan isn't reporting recovered coronavirus cases yet

This week, the state count also started including the number of positive and negative tests. The test data was updated at 1 p.m. on Saturday, so it may not align with the case information yet. 

The total number of specimens does not indicate the number of patients, since a patient could be tested more than once. Here is the latest update from the state:

Credit: Michigan.gov
From Michigan.gov, "Counts of specimens tested positive will not equal number of people with COVID-19. People may have more than one test or may have had their test from an out of state lab."

President Trump adds 30 days to social distancing guidelines

President Donald Trump is extending the voluntary national shutdown for a month as sickness and death from the coronavirus pandemic rise in the U.S.

The initial 15-day period of social distancing urged by the federal government expires Monday, but Trump extended it through April 30.

Read more here

Whitmer relaxes medical practice laws for more flexibility in treatment

An executive from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Sunday night relaxes Michigan's medical practice laws to allow certain qualified healthcare workers more flexibility in treating patients. 

Healthcare workers are still asked to provide medical care that is within their scope of education, training and experience, but physician assistants and nurses are now allowed to treat patients without the supervision of a licensed physician.

Read more here

Whitmer order protects "vulnerable populations" in Michigan jails

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Sunday that protects "vulnerable populations" within Michigan county jails, local lockups and juvenile detention. 

Local officials also now have more flexibility in releasing people who are vulnerable to the virus and who do not pose a threat to the public. 

Read more here

WMU engineering student dies from COVID-19

A Western Michigan University student died from the coronavirus, it was announced Sunday by the Kalamazoo County Health Department and the university's president. 

"Bassey [Offiong] was a young man of enormous potential who was scheduled to graduate with his degree in chemical engineering in just a few weeks," said President Edward Montgomery in a statement. 

Read more here. 

Detroit convention center to be turned into field hospital

The TCF Center in Detroit is going to be turned into a temporary alternate care facility to handle an influx of patients due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The temporary healthcare facility will have about 900 beds. The TCF Center, formerly called Cobo Hall, will provide about 250,000 square feet of space for patients and medical personnel. 

Read more here.

Saturday's cases

In the state's Saturday 3 p.m. update, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported 993 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 4,650. 

The state's death toll also rose to 111. There are a total of 47 cases in the Michigan Department of Corrections. 

Southeast Michigan continues to be the hardest hit region, with 83% of the cases across the state. The city of Detroit has over 1,300 cases and 30 deaths. 


Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to:

  • If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.

More coronavirus resources from 13 ON YOUR SIDE: 

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