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Michigan reaches almost 960 COVID-19 deaths, over 20,340 cases as pace slows

Michigan now has 20,346 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 959 deaths tied to the virus, but Wednesday's numbers showed the smallest 24-hour jump in new cases since March 31.
The Department of Health and Human Services disclosed 1,376 new cases on Wednesday afternoon. The 24-hour number is the lowest in eight days.
The state had 18,970 cases and 845 deaths, according to data released Tuesday.

The new numbers come as some government officials have begun voicing optimism about efforts to combat the virus.
Vice President Mike Pence said during a Tuesday White House briefing there was "reason for hope." Pence listed Detroit among the areas across the country where there was evidence of "stabilization" in the spread of the virus.
However, Pence still said it's a "very tough week" in America.
"We continue to see evidence of stabilization in some of the areas around the country of the most significant outbreak, the New York metro area, including New Jersey, Long Island and Connecticut, New Orleans metro area, Detroit, Boston, Chicago and Denver," the vice president said.
Metro Detroit is home to the vast majority of COVID-19 cases in Michigan, which ranks third for cases and deaths nationally, according to the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan told reporters Tuesday that the rate of doubling for COVID-19 deaths in the city was "slowing to every five to six days."
"This is the first glimmer of light," Duggan said, "since this pandemic started."
In Oakland County, the county's number of new daily COVID-19 deaths reported in state data hit 29 on April 1. The next six days' reports showed fewer new deaths each day.
But Bill Mullan, Oakland County's spokesman, said it's the not the day-to-day numbers that give the big picture. It's data aggregated over time, he said.
"The bottom line is we are far from being out of the woods," Mullan said Wednesday. "Assume everyone has it and that COVID-19 is in every place in your community. Everyone should shelter at home except for essential reasons."
Likewise, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Tuesday the state was in an "early up-slope of what is going to hit Michigan incredibly hard."
As of Tuesday, Michigan reported 43,503 COVID-19 tests had occurred in the state with 12,021 being positive. 
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