Officials: Detroit approaching 4,000 COVID-19 cases

First MDOC prisoner dies from COVID-19
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Posted at 4:12 PM, Apr 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-04 16:12:11-04

DETROIT (AP) — The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Detroit is nearing 4,000 while 129 people have died from the disease, according to the city Health Department.

Figures released Saturday showed positive infections rose by nearly 400 from Friday. The number of confirmed cases across Michigan reached 14,225 Saturday, with 540 people dead, according to state health officials.

Most of the confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to be in the Detroit area, with about 80% in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.


A 55-year-old prisoner who died earlier in the week has since tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, according to Michigan’s Corrections Department.

Spokesman Chris Gautz confirmed Saturday that Joe Kearney was the first inmate i the state’s prison system system to die from complications due to the virus. He was found unresponsive in his cell Wednesday at the Parnall Correctional Facility in Jackson, about 78 miles west of Detroit.

He later died at a hospital. Prison officials were not aware that Kearney was ill. He was serving five years for home invasion.

At least 90 inmates at Parnall have tested positive for the virus since Kearney’s death, The Detroit News reported, citing state records.

More than 200 prisoners in Michigan correctional facilities have tested positive.

More than 50 Corrections Department workers have tested positive for the virus, including more than a dozen at Parnall, Gautz told The Associated Press.


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an order Friday telling people with principal symptoms of the coronavirus to stay home for at least three days after symptoms fade.

The order applies to all residents who test positive or have at least a key symptom: fever, nagging cough or shortness of breath. They can leave for medical care, outdoor exercise, food and other life-sustaining supplies as long as they wear a mask or other face covering.

The order prohibits employers from retaliating against workers if they or one of their close contacts have the disease or symptoms.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.