Michigan governor orders restrictions on entry into healthcare and juvenile justice facilities due to coronavirus

Restrictions will remain in place until April 5

Gov. Whitmer holds press conference after first cases confirmed (WDIV)
Gov. Whitmer holds press conference after first cases confirmed (WDIV) (WDIV)

LANSING, Mich. – On Friday, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced temporary restrictions for entry into healthcare facilities and juvenile justice facilities due to coronavirus concerns.

The announcement comes after Michigan officials confirmed additional cases of the virus, bringing the state total to 25.

The order took effect Saturday morning at 9 a.m. at all healthcare facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities and juvenile justice facilities. Those facilities are required to prohibit any visitors who are not necessary for medical care or daily living. Visitors could be allowed for exigent circumstances.

No later than Monday, the facilities must assess for COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors for individuals not under their care who are seeking entry. The restrictions will remain in place until April 5 at 5 p.m.

Whitmer also ordered all public bodies of departments and agencies of the state to consider postponing public meetings.

“We are taking every measure we can to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and protect Michigan families,” Whitmer said. “This is a hard time for families, and we will continue to put their health and safety first when making these decisions. During this crisis, we must ensure that state meetings remain open and accessible to the public. I also want to remind everyone to continue doing everything they can at an individual level to protect themselves and their families, like washing their hands and practicing social distancing. We will get through this together.”

As of Friday night, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported 1,629 COVID-19 cases in the United States and 41 deaths.

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

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

Read more about coronavirus here.

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