State health agency statisticians pull Sunday shifts at this extraordinary time, and the numbers they compile astonish again.
Another 1,493 pandemic patients are diagnosed since Saturday, just a dozen more than were newly confirmed as positive a day earlier.
Michigan’s COVID case total since March 18 now is 15,718. Fatalities reach 617 -- 77 higher than Saturday.
Detroit adds 537 cases in the past day, according to the Department of Health and Human Services in Lansing. That brings the city's caseload to nearly 4,500 and its death toll to 158.
Another 8,061 new diagnoses are from other parts of the three-county area.
Metro area deaths from the lung virus rise to 539, including Detroit. The region, including the city, account for 87% of COVID deaths since Michigan counting began March 18.
The statewide day-to-day rise in new cases is 10.5% -- the third straight daily drop in the rate of increase (which was 18% on Friday and 11.6% Saturday). That could be a three-day blip, or possibly the start of an encouraging turn if it continues.
Cautious optimism about a U.S. turnaround, perhaps by next weekend, is voiced Sunday by Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
"We should hope that within a week, maybe a little bit more, we’ll start to see a flattening out of the curve and coming down," he said on CBS News' “Face the Nation. Until then, he warned, "this is going to be a bad week. ... We're going to continue to see an escalation."
Not everyone counted is in critical shape or even hospitalized. Michigan's tally since the third week of March doesn’t reflect recovered and discharged patients.
Here’s more context: Nearly 40,600 Michiganians have been tested for coronavirus, the state says. Results came back positive for 25.7% of them -- about 10,400.
Sunday’s overall tally includes 12,556 patients from Detroit and its surrounding three counties (nearly 80% of the total).
Here are confirmed virus cases (including recovered patients) and deaths in suburban Detroit counties:
♦ Oakland: 3,035 cases | 163 deaths
♦ Wayne: 3,023 cases | 135 deaths
♦ Macomb: 2,003 cases | 83 deaths
Among patients whose race is known, blacks make up 40% of statewide deaths and 33% of positive diagnoses, compared to 23% of cases and 28% of deaths for whites. (No race is designated for 37% of cases and 28% of fatalities.)
Here's another demographic divide:
(Table: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services)
That gender gap in lung infections and deaths is seen elsewhere, The Washington Post says this weekend:
Coronavirus data reported by more than a dozen states and the nation’s largest city [show] that slightly more women are getting infected than men. But of more than 3,600 deaths in 13 states and New York City that report fatalities by gender, the majority of victims are men.
The disproportionate toll of the virus appears to have deep biological roots.
Emerging research has revealed that women’s bodies are better at fighting off infection, thanks to the hormones in their systems and the genes on their two X chromosomes.