Duggan: Detroit’s COVID-19 deaths ‘dropping faster than almost any other city’

Detroit’s COVID-19 deaths are decreasing quicker than nearly any other city in the U.S., Mayor Mike Duggan said Monday.

“We still have a ways to go, but these numbers are a promising indication that testing and social distancing works. We could not do this without our dedicated teams and vigilant Detroiters.

Looking at the number of deaths reported per week:

  • March 26 - April 1: 197 deaths
  • April 2 - April 8: 241 deaths
  • April 9 - April 15: 265 deaths
  • April 16 - April 22: 183 deaths
  • April 23 - April 29: 81 deaths

“You can see a trend that is not being replicated in other places,” Duggan said.

He said this is due to Detroiters’ commitment to social distancing and wearing masks. On April 21, the mayor reported that the COVID-19 attack in Detroit had plateaued and the next step was testing people without symptoms. 

RELATED: Duggan: COVID-19 has plateaued, key is testing those without symptoms

Then on April 27, the mayor said the number of coronavirus-related deaths in Detroit is trending downward, urging residents to continue social distancing.

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

Duggan said they're up to testing about 1,500 people a day at the State Fairgrounds, but they're hoping to get to 2,000. Nearly every person they're testing is not showing symptoms, and about 10% of them have tested positive.

Streets in Detroit, Michigan are seen nearly empty on March, 24, 2020. - At 12:01 am Tuesday March 24,2020 Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered a 'Stay at Home and Stay Safe Order' to slow the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) across the State of Michiga

The mayor said while people in Detroit have been diligent about wearing masks, he's noticed more people in the suburbs who are not. He said since the beginning of the pandemic, 27% of Detroiters have tested positive, while 26% of suburbanites have tested positive.

"This virus is all through southeastern Michigan, there are no artificial borders and people in the suburbs should be just as conscious as the residents of Detroit," he said.

People in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties still have a 10% chance of having the virus, he said.

City employees have resumed work Monday on a number of city services on day one of Detroit’s safe return to work process. Employees have begun working again on services including pothole and street repairs, park maintenance, and illegal dumping removal.

Last week, the city released its COVID-19 Safe Workplace Standards with six key principles:

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

RELATED: General services, including lawn care, first Detroit city employees to return to work