Symptom data tends to run ahead of these numbers.
Graphic by Tania Lili

Symptom data shows a pandemic progression earlier than we thought. Also, Michigan crosses the 5,000 death threshold as another protest sets off for Lansing.

MICHIGAN — The first cases of the novel coronavirus were identified March 10, and a state of emergency was immediately declared. But those might not have been Michigan’s first cases, symptom data suggests.

Symptom data shows potential coronavirus patients as far back as March 1, Bridge reports. While this doesn’t contradict anything the state has said, as these are not confirmed cases, it does show that the pandemic’s origins may have gone back farther and be spread further than confirmed cases have shown.

Of the 13 cases Bridge identified before the state of emergency, nine were in the Detroit area, which has been especially hard-hit by the pandemic. Detroit makes up a fifth of Michigan’s total coronavirus cases and around 12% of those diagnosed with the virus in Detroit have died. 

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There’s good news in the symptom data, too, though. The slowing expansion of new coronavirus cases also came around a week sooner in symptom data analysis than in confirmed cases. This means that the spread may have peaked on March 27 instead of April 3 as previously thought. 

The boldline takeaway Bridge drew from the data was that the stay-at-home orders Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued March 23 had an almost immediate effect in curbing the spread of the pandemic. Within a week, the spread of the pandemic slowed. 

These estimates aren’t based on when a case of coronavirus was confirmed, but when the onset of symptoms began. Rather than identifying new cases, the Bridge methodology mostly redefines the dates involved in how many cases existed when. Unlike the confirmed cases metric, though, Bridge’s data is an estimate. 

Those estimates tend to track with what is later reported by confirmed cases, and show that while the Detroit area has shown a steady drop in case spread over the past month, southwest Michigan has only just hit a peak.

The state of Michigan has been reporting symptom data estimates since mid-April.

READ MORE:The Data Is Here On How Far COVID Can Spread After Michigan’s Protests. It’s Wild.

As for confirmed cases, Michigan reports 435 new diagnoses Tuesday. There were also 59 deaths reported Tuesday, in addition to the 43 deaths previously unreported that have been identified and added to the Michigan Disease Surveillance System.

That means that of Michigan’s 52,350 confirmed coronavirus cases, 5,017 have died, breaking the 5,000 victim threshold. This brings Michigan’s case fatality rate back up to 9.5%. 

Detroit’s case fatality rate at 12.2%. By contrast, at 193,821 cases and 15,293 deaths reported by the Syracuse Post-Standard, New York has a fatality rate of 7.9%. 

Meanwhile, nationally 1,519,986 Americans have tested positive for the coronavirus and 91,179 have died, reports the USA Today. That’s a national fatality rate of 6%.

These statistics come on the eve of yet another protest in Lansing, “Operation Haircut”, aiming to reopen barber shops and salons nationwide. 

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

  • Alcona: 6 (1 death)
  • Allegan: 184 (3 deaths)  
  • Alpena: 91 (9 deaths)
  • Antrim: 11 
  • Arenac: 31 (1 death)  
  • Baraga: 1
  • Barry: 58 (1 death)
  • Bay: 250 (16 deaths)
  • Benzie: 4
  • Berrien: 538 (33 deaths)
  • Branch: 95 (2 deaths)
  • Calhoun: 308 (19 deaths)
  • Cass: 61 (2 deaths)
  • Charlevoix: 14 (1 death)
  • Cheboygan: 19 (1 death)
  • Chippewa: 2
  • Clare: 15 (2 deaths)
  • Clinton: 136 (10 deaths)
  • Crawford: 57 (5 death)
  • Delta: 15 (2 deaths)
  • Dickinson: 5 (2 deaths)
  • Eaton: 165 (6 deaths)
  • Emmet: 21 (2 deaths)
  • Genesee: 1,891 (235 deaths)
  • Gladwin: 17 (1 death)
  • Gogebic: 5 (1 death)
  • Grand Traverse: 23 (5 deaths)
  • Gratiot: 50 (4 deaths)
  • Hillsdale: 165 (24 deaths)
  • Houghton 2
  • Huron: 44 (1 death)
  • Ingham: 650 (23 deaths)
  • Ionia: 123 (3 deaths)
  • Iosco: 65 (8 deaths)
  • Isabella: 62 (7 deaths)
  • Jackson: 418 (26 deaths)
  • Kalamazoo: 739 (44 deaths)
  • Kalkaska: 17 (2 deaths)
  • Kent: 2,934 (58 deaths)
  • Lake: 3
  • Lapeer: 180 (30 deaths)
  • Leelanau: 11
  • Lenawee: 140 (3 deaths)
  • Livingston: 385 (26 deaths)
  • Luce: 2
  • Mackinac: 6
  • Macomb: 6,367 (753 deaths)
  • Manistee: 11
  • Marquette: 52 (10 deaths)
  • Mason:27
  • Mecosta: 19 (2 deaths)
  • Menominee: 8
  • Midland: 76 (8 deaths)
  • Missaukee: 16 (1 death)
  • Monroe: 433 (18 deaths)
  • Montcalm: 56 (1 death)
  • Montmorency: 5
  • Muskegon: 519 (25 deaths)
  • Newaygo: 51
  • Oakland: 8,078 (928 deaths)
  • Oceana: 58 (2 deaths)
  • Ogemaw: 18
  • Osceola: 10
  • Oscoda: 5 (1 death)
  • Otsego: 99 (10 deaths)
  • Ottawa: 573 (25 deaths)
  • Presque Isle: 11
  • Roscommon: 21
  • Saginaw: 940 (99 deaths)
  • Sanilac: 39 (5 deaths)
  • Schoolcraft: 4
  • Shiawassee: 235 (21 deaths)
  • St Clair: 412 (32 deaths) 
  • St Joseph: 90 (1 death)
  • Tuscola: 173 (21 deaths)
  • Van Buren: 116 (6 deaths)
  • Washtenaw: 1,251 (89 deaths)
  • Wayne: 19,292 (2,275 deaths) (Detroit alone has 10,417 cases and 1,276 deaths)
  • Wexford: 11 (2 deaths)
  • Michigan Department of Corrections: 3,122 (60 deaths)
  • Federal Corrections Institute: 118 (3 deaths)
  • Unknown 2
  • Out of State 13

Total: 52,350 cases, 5,017 deaths