Michigan coronavirus timeline: Key dates, COVID-19 case tracking, state orders

Tracking coronavirus in Michigan

Michigan COVID-19 deaths by county heat map as of April 9, 2020.
Michigan COVID-19 deaths by county heat map as of April 9, 2020. (WDIV)

DETROIT – Michigan’s coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis started on March 10, 2020, but preparations were underway in February.

We’ll be tracking the progression of cases, important dates, Executive Orders related to the virus and any other major news or milestones. (The information below is the combined work of the ClickOnDetroit digital staff and our Local 4 reporters, producers and writers.)

Michigan Coronavirus Timeline

Feb. 28, 2020: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announces the state will activate its emergency operations center to prepare for potential coronavirus cases. The State of Michigan Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) is where state, local and federal agencies coordinate the response to a disaster, emergency or terrorist event.

March 10, 2020: Michigan confirms its first two COVID-19 cases. It also happened to be an Election Day in the state. Whitmer declared a state of emergency in response to the first cases.

The state of Michigan has confirmed its first cases of the new coronavirus, COVID-19.
The state of Michigan has confirmed its first cases of the new coronavirus, COVID-19.

March 11, 2020: After the first cases, the first big changes came from the state’s colleges, as most schools announced plans to either suspend class or move classes to an online format. Gov. Whitmer urges social distancing measures and community mitigation strategies.

March 12, 2020: Michigan officials announce 10 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state’s total to 12.

March 13, 2020: Gov. Whitmer announces the closure of all Michigan K-12 schools, including public, private and boarding, in response to the confirmed cases. Michigan also banned all gatherings of 250 or more, and announced restrictions on visiting residential, health care and juvenile centers.

March 14, 2020: Michigan COVID-19 cases break the 30 mark. The Oakland County Health Division issues an order to reduce occupancy of all county establishments with a food service license, entertainment venues and physical fitness centers to 50 percent. Beaumont Health announces visitor restrictions.

March 15, 2020: Gov. Whitmer signs Executive Order 2020-8, which temporarily imposes enhanced restrictions on the excessive pricing of goods, materials, emergency supplies and consumer food items.

March 16, 2020: Gov. Whitmer issues an order to close all bars and restaurants dine-in, gyms, coffee houses, and most public places as COVID-19 cases total more than 50. Michigan expands unemployment to include those impacted by the closures. Michigan also bans gatherings of 50 or more.

March 17, 2020: Michigan confirms its first COVID-19 related death. Cases break the 100 mark. The Michigan Legislature approves $125 million in aid.

March 18, 2020: Michigan’s Big 3 automakers announce plans to shut down. Gov. Whitmer calls on the Army National Guard to help with getting coronavirus supplies.

March 19, 2020: As testing begins to ramp up, Michigan COVID-19 cases begin to spike, reporting 254 new cases in one day, the biggest jump to date. Cases total 334 in the state. The death toll increases to 3. Michigan makes loans available to small businesses.

March 20, 2020: Amid rumors of a lockdown, Gov. Whitmer says the state is “not there yet," and says rumors of martial law are false.

March 21, 2020: Gov. Whitmer closes all hair salons and similar services. The US-Canada border begins to close to non-essential traffic.

March 22, 2020: Michigan COVID-19 cases surpass 1,000, as the death toll rises to nine.

March 23, 2020: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issues a statewide stay-at-home order for all non-essential workers. The order is for at least the next three weeks. Individuals may only leave their home or place of residence under very limited circumstances. COVID-19 cases break 1,300, while the death toll rises to 15.

March 24, 2020: Michigan sees another big jump in cases, the biggest single-day jump to date, with 463 new cases and nine additional deaths, totaling nearly 1,800 cases and 24 deaths.

March 25, 2020: Michigan sees another record-breaking jump in cases and in deaths, with total cases jumping to nearly 2,300 and deaths totaling 43. Michigan has the fifth most cases in the country.

March 27, 2020: Michigan cases climb to 3,657 and the death toll spikes to 92. The state surpasses 11,000 total tests.

March 28, 2020: Donald Trump approves Michigan’s Disaster Declaration: The president’s action makes federal funding available for crisis counseling for affected individuals in all areas in the State of Michigan.

March 28, 2020: Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases total 4,650: The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 4,650 as of Saturday, including 111 deaths.

March 30, 2020: Michigan’s death toll jumps in biggest-one day increase yet, totaling 184. Testing breaks 22,000 mark. Michigan decides to cancel the remainder of the school year.

April 2, 2020: Whitmer has officially suspended in-person learning for the rest of the school year at K-12 schools across the state.

April 8, 2020: The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan rises to 20,346 as of April 8, including 959 deaths, state officials report.

April 9, 2020: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the extension of the state’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order to at least the end of April. Whitmer signed executive order 2020-42, extending the order through April 30. As with the prior order, Executive Order 2020-42 limits gatherings and travel and requires all workers who are not necessary to sustain or protect life to stay home.

April 13, 2020: Michigan Gov. Whitmer reports that cases are starting to flatten in Southeast Michigan. Cases break 25,000 mark.

April 15, 2020: A protest titled “Operation Gridlock” is held in Lansing by a group opposed to Gov. Whitmer’s stay-home order.

April 17, 2020: Detroit announces it would test all essential workers in the city. Cases break 30,000 mark.

April 20, 2020: Gov. Whitmer says the state is seeing a slowing of COVID-19 inpatients in hospitals, but data shows more than 4,600 hospitalized in the state. She also says testing is picking up, while positive tests are not increasing in line with testing. She also reports that hospitals are seeing increases in inventory for important PPE. Cases break 32,000.

April 24, 2020: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has extended Michigan’s stay-at-home order while loosening some restrictions on the state’s businesses. The stay-at-home order is extended through May 15. It was previously in effect through the end of April. Death toll breaks 3,000.

Tracking coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Michigan:

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About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital special projects manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013.