Michigan Business Pandemic Response
Photo courtesy Gettees

Michigan businesses’ pandemic response has been characterized by changing focus to produce what Americans need and preparing for a world reopened and vulnerable to a second wave.

MICHIGAN — With businesses poised to begin re-engagement, including construction work resuming Thursday, the Detroit Free Press reports a number of businesses changing focus to help Michigan’s pandemic response. 

BASF Corporation in Wyandotte is making hand sanitizer. Cadillac Products Automotive Company and Cadillac Products Packaging Company are combining workforces to produce personal protective equipment (PPE). Gettees in Sterling Heights is making disposable and medical-grade masks. Dow Chemical donated resin for making polyethylene film. Marygrove Awnings in Livonia will produce face shields and face masks for the first responders.

RELATED: How Close Is Your Industry to Reopening in Michigan? We Break It Down.

Michigan businesses’ pandemic response could be crucial as the pandemic response moves into a new phase.

As the daily new case and death numbers become less alarming and temperatures rise, the desire to return to daily life is running strong in Michiganders. This was evidenced by Belle Isle needing to close twice in one afternoon over the weekend as The ‘Gander reported. This, alongside high-profile protests, might elevate the risk of a second wave of the pandemic in future weeks. 

The new daily confirmed cases reported Wednesday were 657, with 71 new deaths. Both those represent a marked rise in day-over-day totals from Tuesday, but are still well below where they were in April. It should be noted that while this is a marked increase, one day-to-day change does not make a trend.

Michigan’s Case Fatality Rate remains exceedingly high compared to other states at 9.4%, with 4,250 of Michigan’s 45,054 confirmed cases resulting in death. This is especially concerning because as testing ramps up and more cases are identified, the fatality rate has not been dropping as hoped. In fact, it has been slowly but steadily rising.

SEE ALSO: Behind the Numbers: Ford Spent Nearly $8 Billion in April — And That Was With Factories Idled

As The ‘Gander noted, Michigan is the deadliest state to catch the coronavirus in, and the numbers are starkest in Detroit, where almost 12% of cases end in death. 

As the curve flattens, the alarming fatality rate is the next challenge Michigan must face.

According to the daily update from the state, the county-level breakdown is as follows:

  • Alcona: 4 (1 death)
  • Allegan: 124 (2 deaths)  
  • Alpena: 86 (7 deaths)
  • Antrim: 10 
  • Arenac:27 (1 death)  
  • Baraga: 1
  • Barry: 39 (1 death)
  • Bay: 176 (9 deaths)
  • Benzie: 4
  • Berrien: 344 (20 deaths)
  • Branch: 72 (2 deaths)
  • Calhoun: 250 (17 deaths)
  • Cass: 35 (2 deaths)
  • Charlevoix: 14 (1 death)
  • Cheboygan: 19 (1 death)
  • Chippewa: 2
  • Clare: 12 (2 deaths)
  • Clinton: 123 (10 deaths)
  • Crawford: 56 (4 death)
  • Delta: 14 (2 deaths)
  • Dickinson: 4 (2 deaths)
  • Eaton: 141 (6 deaths)
  • Emmet: 21 (2 deaths)
  • Genesee: 1,710 (208 deaths)
  • Gladwin: 15 (1 death)
  • Gogebic: 4 (1 death)
  • Grand Traverse: 20 (5 deaths)
  • Gratiot: 26 (2 deaths)
  • Hillsdale: 138 (21 deaths)
  • Houghton 2
  • Huron: 28 (1 death)
  • Ingham: 539 (14 deaths)
  • Ionia: 98 (2 deaths)
  • Iosco: 53 (7 deaths)
  • Isabella: 61 (7 deaths)
  • Jackson: 373 (26 deaths)
  • Kalamazoo: 539 (23 deaths)
  • Kalkaska: 17 (2 deaths)
  • Kent: 2,016 (40 deaths)
  • Lake: 2
  • Lapeer: 174 (29 deaths)
  • Leelanau: 9
  • Lenawee: 114 (2 deaths)
  • Livingston: 366 (20 deaths)
  • Luce: 1
  • Mackinac: 6
  • Macomb: 5,832 (662 deaths)
  • Manistee: 11
  • Marquette: 51 (8 deaths)
  • Mason:14
  • Mecosta: 15 (2 deaths)
  • Menominee: 6
  • Midland: 63 (7 deaths)
  • Missaukee: 16 (1 death)
  • Monroe: 354 (15 deaths)
  • Montcalm: 46 (1 death)
  • Montmorency: 5
  • Muskegon: 335 (19 deaths)
  • Newaygo: 32
  • Oakland: 7,573 (774 deaths)
  • Oceana: 22 (1 death)
  • Ogemaw: 15
  • Osceola: 8
  • Oscoda: 5 
  • Otsego: 95 (8 deaths)
  • Ottawa: 313 (14 deaths)
  • Presque Isle: 11
  • Roscommon: 18
  • Saginaw: 760 (74 deaths)
  • Sanilac: 38 (5 deaths)
  • Schoolcraft: 3
  • Shiawassee: 196 (13 deaths)
  • St Clair: 342 (22 deaths) 
  • St Joseph: 44 (1 death)
  • Tuscola: 118 (16 deaths)
  • Van Buren: 68 (2 deaths)
  • Washtenaw: 1,129 (77 deaths)
  • Wayne: 17,571 (1,973 deaths) (Detroit alone has 9,536 cases and 1,126 deaths)
  • Wexford: 9 (2 deaths)
  • Michigan Department of Corrections: 1,936 (48 deaths)
  • Federal Corrections Institute: 104 (2 deaths)
  • Out of State: 6

Total: 45,054 cases, 4,250 deaths

Nationally, USA Today reports 1,214,572 people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, and 71,982 have died. The national fatality rate is just under 6%, which is also rising relative to Tuesday’s data. 

Statistical models have shown that as Americans begin shedding behaviors that have helped slow the spread of the pandemic, deaths will rise. Even as more testing becomes available, a sustained rise in fatality rate might be an indicator that that trend is already beginning. 

Despite this, President Trump announced winding down the nation’s task force on the coronavirus. While Business Insider reports he quickly walked that decision back, he is transitioning the task force from a preventative and epidemiological posture to a business and economic posture by the end of May. 

FROM THE COPPER COURIER: People Will Be Hurt: Trump Calls For Americans to Risk Health to Salvage Economy

As our sister publication the Copper Courier reports, Trump said sacrifice, even of human life, might be needed to salvage the economy. 

“I’m not saying anything is perfect, and yes, will some people be affected? Yes,” Trump said. “Will some people be affected badly? Yes, but we have to get our country open, and we have to get it opened soon.”

With infections on the rise in Arizona, the focus Trump had on reopening business struck more of a political chord. Copper Courier notes that many of Trump’s allies think a strong economic outlook in November will be essential to his retaining the White House, even if it comes at a coust. 

On his way out of the state, Trump touted his “great successes” in Arizona.

Neither Michigan nor Arizona meet the Trump Administration’s criteria to reopen closed sectors of the economy, and Michigan is one of the farthest states from those standards, The ‘Gander reports

How things play out over the next few months could come down to Michigan businesses’ pandemic response.