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Why Michigan isn't reporting recovered coronavirus cases yet

In the United States, there are about 139,000 cases of COVID-19 and 2,600 reported recoveries.
Credit: AP
Healthcare workers test a person at a COVID-19 drive-thru testing site at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in West Bloomfield, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Global data shows thousands of people have recovered from COVID-19. But here in Michigan, state officials says it’s too soon to tell. 

The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center shows how many total cases of COVID-19 have been reported around the world, how many people have died from the virus and how many people have recovered. 

As of Sunday, March 29 at 7 p.m., the resource center showed over 700,000 cases worldwide with about 149,000 who have recovered. In the United States, there are about 139,000 cases and 2,600 reported recoveries. 

At this point in the life of the virus, most of the recovered cases are being reported out of China, Spain, Italy and Iran—some countries where the virus hit first. 

RELATED: Map: Where are COVID-19 cases in Michigan?

In Michigan, health officials are not yet reporting on the number of recovered cases because they say it's too soon. The state's first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on March 10, which means positive cases were first recorded less than three weeks ago. 

In a briefing on Thursday, March 26, with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, they were asked about when the state will start reporting recoveries. 

"As we get more people tested and they recover, we will incorporate that. But it's really so early that we don't have an accurate number of people who have recovered," said Khaldun. 

The World Health Organization estimates recovery for mild cases of COVID-19 takes about two weeks. And it can take about 3-6 weeks for patients who are severely ill. 

Do you have more questions about COVID-19 in Michigan? Check out the state's website. 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said a recovered case requires the patient to have gone 72 hours without a fever and without fever-reducing medications. 

This week, the state did start releasing data on the number of tests that have been run and how many have come back positive or negative. Every day, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services provides an update on the number of cases across individual counties, the number of deaths and the age range of people with COVID-19. The death toll is included in the number of cases. 

As of Sunday, March 29, Michigan recorded nearly 5,500 COVID-19 cases and 132 deaths.

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