Duggan: COVID-19 deaths in Detroit trending down, social distancing must continue

The number of coronavirus-related deaths in Detroit is trending downward but the city needs to continue social distancing, Mayor Mike Duggan said Monday.

The mayor has noticed a downward trend in deaths from coronavirus deaths in the city, as well as more vacant hospital beds and unused ventilators.

“On March 22, we had almost none -- we had one death -- and by March 21st/April 1st, we had 42. We went from one to 40 in less than 10 days. It was a rate that was scaring everybody. It was a time at which we had 600 police officers in quarantine. As we got here, the feds and the state built the thousand-bed TCF hospital because it looked -- at the trend we were on -- that we were going to need that hospital. As I said to you about 10 days ago we hit a plateau. That the people of this city did such a great job of honoring the social distancing requirement ... now you can see where we’re going -- we are trending down,” Duggan said.

But the mayor warns, just as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has in her updates, that social distancing must continue in order to prevent a resurgence. 

With the 10-day testing of nursing homes finished, Duggan said they’re now working through other sources of infection. He said Friday he was concerned that grocery stores, where people congregate, are a problem area.

RELATED: With testing finished, Detroit nursing homes enter recovery phase

“The reaction from the grocers over the weekend was nothing short of outstanding,” he said.

After talking with store owners over the weekend, he learned all they need is a road map on how to stay as safe as possible. 

The mayor said even within the last 48 hours, the city saw a huge enrollment in COVID-19 testing at the State Fairgrounds from grocery stores to test their employees.


Duggan said the city has compiled COVID-19 Safe Workplace Standards, and that tomorrow, they will announce who they plan to bring back to work first.

“I was not going to bring anybody back that we didn’t have to,” he said.

RELATED: City offering COVID-19 testing for all essential employees in Detroit

The mayor said the six principles are:

  • Initial testing of each city employee
  • Daily employee temperature check, health screening, and monitoring
  • Workplace distancing and hygiene protocols
  • Mandatory use of masks and other necessary PPE
  • Thorough and frequent cleaning of work-sites and vehicles
  • Continues adequate stockpile of necessary PPE and sanitizing 

Duggan said they will not bring people back just to sit in cubicles next to each other -- workers will not be brought back until they have proper spacing in the office. There will be a designated person in every department that monitors how much PPE and sanitizing materials that the department has.

More details on these principles can be found in the full report here.


Detroit has partnered with Wayne Metro to provide residents with assistance in a number of ways.

The Wayne Metro’s CARES Relief and Recovery Services program can provide assistance with food, water services, rent and mortgage, property taxes, funerals, and more.

Call (313) 388-9799 from 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday through Friday or waynemetro.org/cares for more information. The website also features a chat system to provide additional help.

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