There were 543 additional confirmed coronavirus cases in Michigan on Thursday, the first time the state's daily virus count has exceeded 400 in more than a month.
The total cumulative case count in Michigan is now 71,678, with 64,675 confirmed and another 7,003 listed as probable.
The state health department said there were 15 confirmed deaths related to COVID-19 in Michigan on Thursday, which includes 13 identified through a Vital Records review. It brings the state's total death toll to 6,212.
Thursday's report was the highest number of daily new confirmed cases in Michigan since the 607 reported May 29.
The Ottawa County Department of Public Health reported 17 new cases Thursday, bringing the county's total to 1,081, with 847 recovered and 8.4 percent hospitalized. The county hasn't had a COVID-19 death in nearly three weeks; the toll stands at 51.
Muskegon County added just six cases to its virus count on Thursday and no additional deaths. The county has 827 total cases in the outbreak, the state health department said, and 51 deaths.
Coronavirus cases are rising in 40 of 50 US states
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. climbed to an all-time high of more than 50,000 per day on Thursday, with the infection curve rising in 40 out of 50 states in a reversal that has largely spared only the Northeast.
In yet another alarming indicator, 36 states are seeing a rise in the percentage of tests that are coming back positive for the virus.
The surge has been blamed in part on Americans not wearing masks or following other social-distancing rules as states lifted their lockdowns over the past few weeks.
The U.S. recorded 50,700 new cases, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. That represents a doubling of the daily total over the past month and is higher even than what the country witnessed during the deadliest phase of the crisis in April and May.
All but 10 states are showing an increase in newly confirmed cases over the past 14 days, according to data compiled by the COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer organization that collects testing information. The outbreaks are most severe in Arizona, Texas and Florida, which together with California have re-closed or otherwise clamped back down on bars, restaurants and movie theaters.
Nebraska and South Dakota were the only states outside the Northeast with a downward trend in cases.
While some of the increases may be explained in part by expanded testing, other indicators are grim, too, including hospitalizations and positive test rates. Over the past two weeks, the percentage of positive tests in Georgia, Kansas and Tennessee has doubled. In Idaho and Nevada, it has tripled.
The surge in cases comes as Americans head into a Fourth of July holiday weekend that health officials warn could add fuel to the virus by drawing big crowds. Many municipalities have canceled fireworks displays. Beaches up and down California and Florida have been closed.
Florida reported more than 10,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases for the first time Thursday. That is six times higher than the daily count of less than a month ago. The state also reported 67 deaths for the second time in a week. Deaths per day are up about 30 percent from two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, the government reported that U.S. unemployment fell to 11.1 percent in June as the economy added a solid 4.8 million jobs. But the data was collected during the second week of June, before many states began to backtrack on restarting their economies.
Several Northeastern states have seen new infections slow down significantly, including New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Jersey, which allowed its Atlantic City casinos to reopen Thursday, though with no smoking, no drinking and no eating.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday seemed confident the virus would soon subside, telling Fox Business: "I think that, at some point, that's going to sort of just disappear, I hope."
The U.S. has reported at least 2.7 million cases and more than 128,000 dead, the highest toll in the world. Globally there have been 10.7 million confirmed cases and more than 516,000 dead, according to Johns Hopkins' count. The true toll is believed to be significantly higher, in part because of limited testing and mild cases that have been missed.
Other countries are also reporting record numbers of cases.
South Africa recorded more than 8,100 new cases, a one-day record. The country has the most cases in Africa, more than 159,000, as it loosens what had been one of the world's strictest lockdowns.
"We have now entered a new and treacherous phase in the life cycle of this pandemic," South African President Cyril Ramaphosa warned in a broadcast to the nation.
India, the world's second-most populous country with more than 1.3 billion people, surpassed 600,000 infections on Thursday after over 19,000 new cases were reported. India has reported nearly 100,000 new cases in the past four days alone.
Many industries and businesses have reopened across India, though schools, colleges and movie theaters are still closed.
On the medical front, the World Health Organization said that smoking is linked to a higher risk of severe illness and death from the coronavirus in hospitalized patients, although it was unable to specify exactly how much greater the danger might be.
Michigan garage sale may have exposed attendees to virus
CHARLOTTE, Mich. (AP) — Health officials in Michigan on Thursday said that people who went to a garage sale near the community of Charlotte last weekend may have been exposed to the coronavirus.
The Lansing State Journal reported that the Barry-Eaton Health District said in a news release that a person who was working at the garage sale on the West Kalamo Highway from June 26 until June 28 reported having symptoms of the virus.
According to the health district, it is not clear if items purchased or handled at such a sale are infectious. But the district urged those who attended the sale to sanitize anything they bought there with a disinfectant approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19. Clothing and other cloth items can be machine washed and dried, the district said.
People who attended the garage sale should monitor themselves for symptoms of the virus including cough, fever, difficulty breathing, loss of smell or taste, and fatigue.