Michigan AG sends cease and desist letter to company selling $100 packs of face masks during coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Michigan AG Dana Nessel issued a cease and desist order to a Metro Detroit medical supply company because of the price of these masks.
Michigan AG Dana Nessel issued a cease and desist order to a Metro Detroit medical supply company because of the price of these masks. (DiaMedical USA Equipment, Inc.)

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel sent a cease and desist letter Friday to a Bloomfield Hills health care supplier that has jacked up the price of face masks up in the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

According to Nessel, DiaMedical USA Equipment Inc. is selling 10-packs of masks on its website for nearly $100. These masks typically cost between $1.50 and $2.40 a mask.

RELATED: Michigan AG cracks down on businesses price gouging during coronavirus outbreak

"Price-gouging has no place in our health care industry, especially during times of a public health crisis,” Nessel said. “Hospitals, doctors, nurses and other medical professionals depend on this equipment to perform their jobs and take care of people who are sick, and lives should not be put in jeopardy because businesses want higher profits.”

As of 7 a.m. Friday, the AG’s office had received 1,885 complaints of price-gouging related to COVID-19.

Call 877-765-8388 to report price gouging.

MORE: What the CDC says you should do if you believe you have coronavirus (COVID-19)

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.

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