New Oakland County coronavirus case may be evidence of community transmission in Michigan

Virus confirmed in 7 counties

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. – A new case of coronavirus is an Oakland County man who had no travel history, suggesting there may be community transmission of the illness.

Michigan has 12 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Thursday night.

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The state has not confirmed whether or not the man had contact with any of the other Michigan COVID-19 cases.

All of the other cases in the state are people who have traveled internationally or domestically.

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The cases include:

  • An adult female from Ingham County with history of travel on a cruise.
  • Two adult females from Kent County and one adult male, all with history of international travel.
  • An adult female from Montcalm County with history of international travel.
  • Two adult males from Oakland County; one with no travel history and one with domestic travel, and one adult female with history of international travel
  • An adult male from St. Clair County with history of domestic travel.
  • One adult female and one adult male from Washtenaw County; one with history of domestic travel and one with history of international travel.
  • One adult male from Wayne County with a history of domestic travel.

Read More: Mayor says Livonia man is one of Michigan’s confirmed coronavirus cases

Counties have been releasing statements regarding the cases. Read them below.

Ingham County

Testing through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has identified Ingham County’s first presumptive positive case for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Specimens will be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for confirmatory testing.

The presumptive positive person is a senior adult female whose history includes being aboard a cruise ship. The patient is currently hospitalized in isolation and is in stable condition. The Ingham County Health Department will contact people who have been in close contact with the patient. They will be assessed for symptoms and monitored appropriately.

“At this time, I advise the public to be diligent, yet level-headed, in prevention efforts,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail. “I urge you to get your information and situation updates from reputable sources such as the health department or your physician.”

COVID-19 symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, people should wash their hands, stay home when sick, avoid close contact with sick people, and disinfect commonly touched surfaces.

St. Clair County

The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services informed the St. Clair County Health Department of a presumptive positive COVID-19 case in a St. Clair County resident identified as a middle-aged adult male. He is in stable condition and is isolated at his home. The individual has a history of domestic travel. This patient took proper precautions early on and had minimal community contact. The Health Department continues to investigate the case.

Dr. Annette Mercatante, Medical Health Officer states; “The Health Department does not want the community to panic. If you feel well, you do not need to be tested. Mildly ill people should be encouraged to stay home and contact their healthcare provider by phone for clinical guidance. Testing will be determined based on risk assessment.

Updates will be forthcoming when more information is available. Please check our website, www.scchealth.co and social media @scchdmi for more information. A local COVID-19 informational hotline is also available at (810) 966-4163.

Other accurate sources include www.michigan.gov/coronavirus www.cdc.gov/COVID19

Washtenaw County

Washtenaw County Health Department is reporting Washtenaw County’s first two presumptive positive cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Both individuals, one adult female and one adult male, were likely exposed through international and domestic travel respectively. One traveled through Europe and the other to New York.

Washtenaw County Health Department has been working closely with the individuals to identify and contact anyone potentially exposed. Additional information and guidance will be announced as soon as possible at www.washtenaw.org/COVID19 and @wcpublichealth on social media.

The Health Department and all local officials are relying on our community to work together to slow the potential spread of illness and refer to official sources of reliable information.

We continue to recommend prevention strategies to reduce the spread of germs and protect everyone’s health.


There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Information from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is available in English, Chinese, and Spanish.

  • Clean your hands often. Scrub with soap for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer if you cannot wash.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care. Call ahead before going to your healthcare provider. Learn what to do if you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Immediately wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces.

Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. View additional prevention steps from CDC for people at higher risk. Consult with your health care provider for more steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.

Governor Whitmer announced community mitigation recommendations for individuals, facilities, schools, workplaces, community organizations, and other mass events on March 11. The Washtenaw County Health Department fully supports the Governor’s recommendations and encourages local individuals and entities to implement them or take additional steps, as is feasible.

REMEMBER: Discrimination harms public health. People of Asian descent, including Chinese Americans, are not more likely to get coronavirus than anyone else.

How COVID-19 Spreads

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

Prevention & Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

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