Major disaster declaration request: Here’s the help Michigan could get during coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Gov. Whitmer asked for public, individual assistance

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LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s letter asking President Donald Trump for a major disaster declaration includes a request for a number of forms of individual and public assistance.

Read the full letter here.

If the declaration is granted in full, the state would receive money to set up field hospitals, as well as funds to provide mental health care to people impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and money to help families with housing and food.

According to Whitmer’s letter to the president, she is asking for assistance with programs that “are necessary and critical for the health, safety, and well-being of the people of Michigan.”

Here’s what Whitmer requested:

Individual assistance

  • Disaster unemployment
  • Disaster crisis counseling
  • Disaster case management
  • Individuals and households program
  • Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
  • Disaster survivor assistance
  • Disaster legal services
  • Voluntary agency coordination

Public assistance

  • Debris removal
  • Emergency protective measures
  • Roads and bridges
  • Water control facilities
  • Buildings and equipment
  • Utilities
  • Parks, recreation and other facilities.

As of 2 p.m. Thursday, the state is reporting 2,856 cases of COVID-19, and 60 people have died.

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?

  • Spread is possible before people show symptoms. People who are not showing symptoms can still be carrying the virus and can still pass it on to other people.

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.

Click here for more guidelines from the CDC.

People who think 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.